Chesterfield residents raise ‘rat run’ fears

Residents of Rothervale Road in Chesterfield are concerned their street is becoming a rat run. Pictured are Maureen Hodkin, Ivor Baldwin, Alan Stevens, and Andrew McKinley.
Residents of Rothervale Road in Chesterfield are concerned their street is becoming a rat run. Pictured are Maureen Hodkin, Ivor Baldwin, Alan Stevens, and Andrew McKinley.

A group of Chesterfield residents say their streets are becoming dangerous as a result of motorists using them as a ‘rat run’.

They say drivers use Lincoln Street, King Street and Rothervale Road in Birdholme as a way of avoiding traffic lights on Derby Road.

Residents of Rothervale Road in Chesterfield are concerned their street is becoming a rat run. Pictured are Maureen Hodkin, Ivor Baldwin, Alan Stevens, and Andrew McKinley.

Residents of Rothervale Road in Chesterfield are concerned their street is becoming a rat run. Pictured are Maureen Hodkin, Ivor Baldwin, Alan Stevens, and Andrew McKinley.

Now the residents want more protection from people using their streets irresponsibly, with one suggesting the roads needed sealing off at one end.

Andrew McKinley, 62, said: “It has been a bone of contention for a very long time. Drivers see traffic building up at the traffic lights and cut through to avoid it. It’s always boy racers or people late for the school run as well. They fly down there like bats out of hell.”

Andrew has lived on Derby Road with his wife for the last 35 years but walks his dog on the rat run roads every day.

He says he was almost hit by a driver last week and is worried that a serious accident could occur at any time.

They fly down there like bats out of hell.

Andrew McKinley

Derbyshire County Council has recently painted an ‘access only’ sign on the road - but Andrew fears drivers will just ignore it.

“If they aren’t going to notice the signs on the side of the road that are already there, why would they see the one on the road?” he asked. “It is just adding insult to injury.”

Andrew now believes the only solution would be to put permanent bollards at the Derby Road entrances of Lincoln and King Street.

A spokesman for the county council said: “We met with a group of residents and the local councillor earlier this year to discuss their concerns. To be able to see the scale of the issue we put up cameras on Lincoln Street to see how many vehicles are using the road as a rat run.

“The cameras clock vehicles going in and out, and they also measure speed. We have not yet had the analysis from the cameras back. In the meantime we have painted an access only sign on the road to remind motorists.”