More double yellow lines for Chesterfield streets in bid to stop rat-run drivers

A raft of new double yellow lines will be painted on streets around Chesterfield in a bid to prevent vehicles 'rat running' through side roads to avoid traffic lights.

Wednesday, 25th April 2018, 8:29 am
Updated Wednesday, 25th April 2018, 8:41 am
Council chiefs hope the double yellow lines will stop roads being used as rat runs

The proposals are also aimed at keeping roads clear for bin collections and school buses.

Residents in each of the five proposed areas have been consulted, with objections coming back for three sites, but Derbyshire County Council officers plan to proceed.

The affected areas would be Chapel Lane East, Eastwood Park Drive, Newbold Road, Gatefield Close, Barn Close, Fieldhead Way, Old Brick Works Lane, Park Road and New Street – all in Chesterfield.

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A decision will be made at a meeting on Thursday, April 26.

For the affected areas, council officers say that just one side of each road would have double-yellow lines to put in place a “no waiting at any time” rule – enforced by police – to ensure that the road remains wide enough for larger vehicles.

However, some corner sections of streets would have double-yellow lines on both sides of the road to enable easy turning.

Around two dozen residents came forward with objections, with 10 individual complaints and four grouped grievances against the plans.

Several residents were concerned that by removing vehicles from both sides of the road it would enable vehicles to travel faster down the road should they wish to do so.

Several residents wrote in to request a gap in the double-yellow lines outside their home, some of which have been accepted.

One disabled resident who uses a wheelchair requested a gap in the lines outside their house to enable medical staff to park up. But council officers said that in this area,  on Chapel Lane East, the double-yellow lines are on the opposite side of the road from the resident’s house, but if needs be, medical staff would be allowed to park on these.

The proposed plans form part of the approved county council 2017-18 Local Transport Plan and the cost of the lining and associated signing work will be roughly £1,000.

Chapel Lane East is the location which council officers see as a frequent “rat run” for vehicles trying to dodge the traffic lights on Mansfield Road.

The council also received complaints about congestion on the road from refuse collection crews and The Devonshire Arms pub.

Council officers wrote: “Officers have previously investigated the possibility of a Stopping Up Order in conjunction with double yellow lines at this location, in order to stop vehicles ‘rat running’ through here to avoid the traffic lights on Mansfield Road.

“Both the refuse collection operators and the Devonshire Arms public house did not have access to land to turn their vehicles around.

“The refuse collection operators felt that they would have problems servicing some of the properties due the vehicle having to reverse in and up the full length of Chapel Lane East and round the bend at the top.

“The Devonshire Arms particularly felt that this was an unsafe practice for their drivers and they could not say what size of vehicles it would be using on a weekly basis.

“Officers took into consideration the needs of the delivery vehicles and decided not to pursue the traffic order to stop up this route.

“After this decision was taken, enquiries were still being received from residents, informing the Traffic Section of the difficulty of driving larger vehicles down the road when vehicles are parked on both sides.

“Road width is narrow at certain parts on the road.

“The double yellow lines will help traffic flow more easily along this route by removing vehicles where required.”

Staff at St Mary’s Catholic High School in Newbold Road were concerned about pupil safety and space available for school buses due to the number of parked vehicles on both sides of the road.

This follows an incident in which a child was hit by a vehicle near the school gates.

Council officers wrote: “Discussions were held with the headteacher of St. Mary’s School about safety in and around the school.

“A controlled crossing had been installed on Newbold Road in 2016 but there were still some issues that they wanted resolving.

“A child was hit by a vehicle crossing in between parked vehicles near the school gates. The Police and Ambulance Service attended the scene.

“The headteacher asked for double yellow lines to keep this area clear of vehicles.

“The school was also concerned that school buses were having great difficulty travelling along Gatefield Close due to parked vehicles on both sides of the road.

“This resulted in the caretaker placing cones on-street to try and prevent vehicles from restricting the buses access to the school car park at the end of Gatefield Close.

“The proposed double yellow lines on this road would remove vehicles from around the entrance to the school gates, as well as the junction of Gatefield Close and Newbold Road.

“One side of Gatefield Close would also be kept clear allowing the buses easier passage to the school car park.”

Eddie Bisknell , Local Democracy Reporting Service