New demands to end 'unlawful' Chesterfield road closure

New calls have been made to reopen a Chesterfield road to traffic amid claims its continued closure is ‘unlawful’.

By Tim Paget
Saturday, 11th December 2021, 11:14 am

Permission for the controversial temporary closure of Crow Lane, under emergency Covid legislation, ran out on December 1.

However, the road, which Derbyshire County Council still intends to close permanently to make it part of the route of a new cycle path, remained shut on Friday – according to campaigners.

The council says it intends to ‘safely reopen the road to traffic’.

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New calls have been made to reopen a Chesterfield road to traffic amid claims its continued closure is ‘unlawful’.

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 it.

He 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.

“I would be obliged by an early response to this letter, so that I can proceed with my complaint to the Ombudsman. I am also writing to the Secretary of State for Transport drawing his attention to the unlawful action of the county council as a highways authority.”

A Derbyshire County Council spokesperson said earlier this week: "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.

“This will take place as soon as possible, once we have made sure the road is safe and we have signs in place to warn all users of the road that it is now open to all traffic.

“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.”