Michael Broomhead: Chesterfield's new digital road signs are great
I’m a fan of Chesterfield’s new digital road signs – I think they show that the town is moving with the times.
The signs have been installed in five locations recently – Saltergate, Lordsmill Street, Brewery Street and at the West Bars and Donut roundabouts.
They have been put up by Derbyshire County Council (DCC), which was awarded Government money to help improve vehicle flow and ease congestion.
The boards are part of this project and aim to help people find out which car parks have spaces free.
They can also be used to get across other messages for road users.
According to DCC, the signs cost in the region of £55,000 each to buy and install.
A number of people have contacted the Derbyshire Times to criticise the new additions to the town’s roads and say ‘the money would be better spent repairing potholes’.
Opposition politicians, meanwhile, say our roads are ‘falling apart’.
Tory-led DCC’s response is that it is already fixing potholes and heavily investing in road repairs.
I recently spoke to Councillor Simon Spencer, DCC’s cabinet members for highways, and put people’s pothole concerns to him – including one councillor’s remark that ‘Chesterfield’s roads are like the moon’.
Coun Spencer admitted there had been a rise in the number of reports about potholes, adding: “The county council has been highly successful at repairing the potholes that have been reported.
“We’ve repaired a significant number. The estimates over the last four years are about a quarter of a million repairs.
“If people see a pothole, they should report it to us.”
A few weeks ago, DCC approved what it called a ‘huge investment’ for the county’s roads and pavements.
Councillors agreed to spend £46million between now and next March and then a further £40m for each of the following two years.
Coun Spencer added: “Next year alone we will surface dress 260 roads and resurface 78 roads and 65 pavements.
“Eighty-four miles of roads will be surface dressed, and 11.5 miles will be resurfaced.”
Looking ahead, we’ll be keeping a close eye on whether our roads move in the right direction – or end up in reverse…