Safety concerns raised about 'cycle superhighway' on busy Chesterfield road
Further safety concerns have been raised by groups fighting the route of a proposed east to west cycle lane through Chesterfield.
Derbyshire County Council’s consultation into the £1.6m route has now ended and the results will be published after next month’s local elections.
Chesterfield and District Civic Society has voiced criticism of the proposed route – in particular what it calls a ‘cycle superhighway’ set to be created along the north side of Chatsworth Road, between Holymoor Road and Storrs Road.
Chairman Philip Riden said: “The civic society also opposes this route. Its construction will make Chatsworth Road dangerously narrow for the heavy traffic it carries; it will adversely affect the appearance of an attractive residential area; and it will impede access to and from properties fronting Chatsworth Road, including a sheltered housing complex, a busy medical centre and a large secondary school.
“It is important to appreciate that what is proposed is not a pair of traditional cycle tracks on either side of the main carriageway. It is a two-lane cycle track on the north side of Chatsworth Road.
"This means that cycles will be moving (at some speed) not merely from west to east (as motor traffic does on that side of the road) but also from east to west.
"We consider that this presents a serious hazard to residents and other pedestrians, many of whom are elderly or infirm.”
The society claims opposition to the plans is ‘overwhelming’ based on canvassing of homes by election candidates.
Mr Riden said he is also yet to receive the results of a Freedom of Information Act request asking on which streets householders had been sent notices about the scheme.
He added: “We strongly believe that the Chatsworth Road part of the scheme should be abandoned, and renewed efforts made to come to an agreement with landowners to use the Somersall Lane to Greendale Avenue route.”
However, the Chesterfield Cycle Campaign says a reduction in the speed limit on Chesterfield Road and a protected cycling path should be welcomed.
Group secretary Alastair Meikle said: “This is a step change for cycle infrastructure in Chesterfield which will give less confident residents a protected route to use.”
A Derbyshire County Council spokesperson said the authority will comment further after the election.