Chesterfield residents vow to continue fight to reverse 'undemocratic' road closure
A group of Chesterfield residents have vowed to continue the fight to reopen a Chesterfield road they know as ‘our lane’ to traffic.
Crow Lane was closed in June last year to create a walking and cycling route between Chesterfield railway station and the Royal Hospital.
The lane now also forms part of the route of an east to west cycling route across Chesterfield being proposed by Derbyshire County Council.
A group of residents in the area have objected to the closure of Crow Lane – with hundreds of people signing a petition last year to reopen the route amid claims they were not consulted.
Now members of the group have vowed to continue the fight against a decision they have labelled ‘undemocratic’.
Spokesperson for the group, Kathleen Carlile, says more than 700 people had signed the petition demanding the route is fully reopened.
"We are not anti-cyclist, ant-walkers or anti the environment but this is our lane and a vitally important route for local people,” she said.
"The closure has simply pushed the traffic onto other routes, like Manor Road and Top Road.
"It was closed off without a proper consultation using powers given the council because of the pandemic. The first time many people found out about it was when they saw the barriers that had been put up.”
Kathleen says members of the group have been ‘monitoring’ the cycle sheds at the Royal, and claims they have ‘remained empty’ most days during the pandemic.
She claims County Hall has ‘purposefully denied us the opportunity to have a full and meaningful consultation’ on Crow Lane’s closure.
However, other residents have welcomed the closure and urged motorists to keep away.
Leanda Calvert, 47, who lives on Crow Lane, says the road ‘is not fit for two-way traffic’. Chesterfield Cycling Campaign has also strongly backed the closure of the road, insisting it has created a green and sustainable route from the town centre to the Royal.
A spokesperson for Derbyshire County Council said: “We’re currently holding a public consultation on our plans for an East West cycle and walking route for the town, and this includes Crow Lane.
"We’d encourage everyone to take part in the consultation as all comments received will be considered.
"The consultation does close soon and is at https://chesterfieldcycleroute.commonplace.is/”