How major new walking and cycling scheme aims to connect Chesterfield town centre with Royal Hospital and Chesterfield College

Chesterfield residents are being urged to have their say on a £1.6million walking and cycling route across the town.

Tuesday, 9th March 2021, 8:42 pm

Council leaders say the east to west project will improve walking and cycling access to workplaces, schools, Chesterfield College, the railway station and Chesterfield Royal Hospital.

The route will go from the A619 junction with Holymoor Road, along Chatsworth Road and the existing Hipper Valley Trail, through Queen’s Park, and to the hospital by using Crow Lane and Wetlands Lane.

Now people are being urged to give their views as a consultation is launched on the scheme.

Among those to have commented already is Christine Rollin, staff member at Chesterfield Royal, who said she had started cycling to work when Crow Lane was closed to vehicles last year.

She said: "I took the opportunity to start cycling from home in Walton to work at the hospital, something I had considered previously but was put off by the amount of traffic on Hady Hill.

"Normally I would be catching two buses to work and two home. I found the route really enjoyable, less time consuming than the bus and less stressful than worrying about missing transport connections."

The proposed Chesterfield cycle route would pass through Queen's Park and connect Chatsworth Road with the train station and the Royal Hospital.

Retired Chesterfield GP Brendan Ryan launched a conversation last summer calling for schools in the town to be linked by safe commuting routes – allowing parents to have the confidence to encourage their children to walk or cycle to school as we recover from the pandemic.

He said an ideal first step would be to extend the Hipper Valley active travel route to create a safe cycle and walking route.

Councillor Simon Spencer, Derbyshire County Council’s cabinet member for highways, said: “We’ve already seen a huge increase in the number of cyclists in the town centre and this route will help to take more traffic off the roads, which can only be a good thing for everyone.

Retired Chesterfield GP Brendan Ryan has backed calls to create cycle paths across the town.

“We can’t use this money for anything else, nor can we use it anywhere else in the county, so I’d urge everyone who lives locally to have a look at the plans and let us have their views.”

Hundreds of residents signed a petition calling for Crow Lane to be reopened to traffic last summer, saying they had not been properly consulted.

The consultation can be found here and closes on March 25.

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