Safety concerns raised over route of new £1.6m Chesterfield cycle path
Concerns have been raised about the route of a new £1.6m walking and cycling path linking the east and west of Chesterfield.
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.
Derbyshire County Council has launched a consultation on the project – and the route devised has prompted a number of responses from walkers and cyclists.
One resident said: “I would never use the proposed new route from Somersall Lane to Holymoor Road as Chatsworth Road is far too busy, polluted and noisy.
"Far too many big lorries and speeding from both lorries and cars. Even with the cycle lane I would not feel safe.”
Other comments have questioned why the route does not avoid Chatsworth Road by using a paved track across the fields, known as Hipper Valley Phase Three.
Another resident added: “Chatsworth Road is certainly not somewhere I think children of any age would be safe to cycle.”
Retired Chesterfield GP Brendan Ryan, who launched a conversation last summer calling for schools in the town to be linked by safe commuting routes, said use of the Hipper Valley Phase Three route was the better long term solution.
Dr Ryan said: "This cycle route is to be welcomed as a temporary solution until work on the Somersall to Holymoorside active travel route goes ahead. This Hipper Valley Phase Three route will be safer, child and pram safe and will have much better air quality.”
Chesterfield and District Civic Society also says an extension of the trail from Somersall Lane to Greendale Avenue is ‘a much more desirable option’ than a ‘cycle superhighway’ along Chatsworth Road.
"We feel that this scheme has been abandoned in the face of abundant government funding for the cycle superhighway, irrespective of need or the impact on others,” the society said in its response.
A Derbyshire County Council spokesperson said: “All comments received will be considered as part of the consultation and we would encourage as many people as possible to share their views online at https://chesterfieldcycleroute.commonplace.is/ by March 25 2021.”