MP takes fight against controversial Chesterfield cycle path route to top of Government

Chesterfield’s MP has secured top-level meetings as part of his campaign to alter the route of a proposed east-to-west cycle path across the town.

Monday, 29th November 2021, 12:07 pm
Updated Monday, 29th November 2021, 12:29 pm

Toby Perkins will meet with the Government’s minister for cycling, Chris Heaton-Harris, and Councillor Kewal Singh Athwal, cabinet member for highways, assets and transport at Derbyshire County Council.

The talks follow a public meeting attended by hundreds of residents concerned about the route, particularly sections along Chatsworth Road and Crow Lane, and the consultation held into it which has been labelled ‘flawed’.

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Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins, here addressing a public meeting, has secured top-level talks as part of his campaign to alter the route of a proposed east-to-west cycle path

"It was clear from the Government's response in the Westminster Hall debate I held recently that the county council's consultation did not match what the Department for Transport would expect for this type of project and I will be exploring this further with Mr Heaton-Harris,” Mr Perkins said.

"I am also hoping to learn more about any limitations on the government’s funding for cycling with regard to alternative proposed routes."

Derbyshire County Council has described the consultation it carried out as ‘appropriate’.

"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,” a spokesperson said.

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

Mr Perkins said he was grateful to Coun Athwal and senior council officers for agreeing to meet with him and discuss these matters in more detail.

“All I want is for people to be fully-consulted and their views properly considered before any final decision is made," he added.

Chesterfield and District Civic Society, which organised the recent public meeting, said more than 350 people attended and it was ‘one of the largest of its kind in Chesterfield for some years’.

People who attended raised concerns the plan would turn Chatsworth Road into a dangerous ‘cycle super-highway’.

Other people spoke out in favour of the scheme which has been described by cycling groups as a ‘step change’ for cycling infrastructure in Chesterfield.

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