Controversial Chesterfield road closure will end 'when new signs arrive'

Council chiefs say they are working hard to reopen a Chesterfield road after allegations its continued closure is ‘unlawful’.

By Tim Paget
Tuesday, 14th December 2021, 4:12 pm

Campaigners made the claim after Crow Lane remained blocked to traffic – despite permission for its temporary closure running out on December 1.

However, the lane, which Derbyshire County Council still intends to close permanently to make it part of the route of a new east-tow-west cycle path, remained closed at the start of this week.

Philip Riden, chair of Chesterfield and District Civic Society, who has played a leading role in a campaign to reopen the road, has repeated his threat to write to the Government about the ‘unlawful’ road closure.

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Council chiefs say they are working hard to reopen Crow Lane, in Chesterfield, after allegations its continued closure is ‘unlawful’.

A spokesperson for Derbyshire County Council said workers had been busy this weekend getting ready to reopen the road.

“We realise that the temporary order to close Crow Lane has now expired, and under the current legislation we cannot extend the closure,” the spokesperson said.

"It is our intention to carry out the necessary process to make this closure permanent, and while we carry that out we will be looking to safely re-open the road to traffic.

“We have had staff in over the weekend cutting back overhanging trees and clearing vegetation, and are waiting for some signs to arrive that warn all users of the road that it is open.

"As soon as these signs arrive and are in place, and we are sure the road is safe we will open Crow Lane again, which we’d expect to be by the end of this week.

“The permanent closure will take us some time to process and will give local people and road users the chance to have their say. We’d expect this process to take around three months.”

Mr Riden said in a letter to County Hall on Friday: “As far as I can judge, the continued closure of this section of Crow Lane to motor traffic is an unlawful act by the county council.

"I must ask you to treat this letter as a complaint to the county council in the sense in which that word is used by the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman when refusing to investigate complaints made to him until the complainant has exhausted the complaints procedure of the local authority he or she is complaining against.”