Derbyshire County Council defends cycle path amid claims Chesterfield residents were ignored

Council leaders have defended a consultation process they held into a major new cycle path in Chesterfield after the project was rubber-stamped yesterday.

Friday, 15th October 2021, 12:00 pm

Derbyshire County Council (DCC) has faced claims that the public consultation over the east-to-west route was ‘flawed’ and residents on parts of the route have been ignored.

The plan and its route, which will include Chatsworth Road, Queen’s Park and crow Lane, was given the green light by the Conservative-run council on Thursday at a cabinet meeting.

Chesterfield borough councillor Howard Borrell, who represents the west ward, said he has spoken to residents on Chatsworth Road who knew nothing about the proposal until they were told by Chesterfield and District Civic Society.

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Opponents say the cycle plan's route along busy Chatsworth Road makes it dangerous.

“There has been many column inches given over to the consultation process and how extensive it has been,” Coun Borrell said.

"Many on the West side of Chesterfield would disagree.

"The majority of the consultation was online and large numbers of people that live around the Chatsworth Road area didn’t receive the paperwork that the DCC press release implies that they had.”

He added: “I spoke to a resident that lives lives on a side-road from Chatsworth Road and, until the correspondence from the Civic Society, he was completely unaware of the proposal.

"He, and many others, are aghast at the plans that they consider unsafe and dangerous.”

Coun Borrell said the consultation has ‘failed dismally’, but the process has been defended as ‘appropriate’ by County Hall.

A spokesperson for Derbyshire County Council said: “During a three week period we did all we could to promote the consultation, we dropped information through the letterboxes of 4,000 homes on or close to the route, used our social media accounts and the local media to bring it to as many people’s attention as possible.”

She added: “The response we received was that 71 per cent were supportive of the route.

“We will now carry on with the detailed design work and we’d expect to start work before the end of the year, with an aspiration to hopefully finish the route by the end of March 2022.

“More people are choosing to walk or cycle and we need to encourage this as much as we can so that we reduce congestion and pollution on our roads.”

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