Public meeting called on controversial Chesterfield cycle path scheme

A public meeting has been called for Chesterfield residents to raise concerns about controversial plans for a major new cycle path.

Wednesday, 3rd November 2021, 3:43 pm

Derbyshire County Council’s east-to-west cycle and pedestrian route was rubber-stamped by County Hall last month but continues to divide opinion.

Council chiefs have faced accusations that the consultation held into the proposal was ‘flawed’ and residents on parts of the route have been ignored.

The meeting, to be held at Brookfield Community School Hall on Thursday, November 11 from 7.30pm, will be addressed by Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins.

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Residents object to the Crow Lane section of the new Chesterfield cycle path. Inset, Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins.

It has been organised by Chesterfield and District Civic Society – which has led criticism of the section of the route along Chatsworth Road.

Society chairman Philip Riden has described the route as a ‘cycle super-highway’.

He said: “Its construction will make Chatsworth Road dangerously narrow for the heavy traffic it carries; it will adversely affect the appearance of an attractive residential area; and it will impede access to and from properties fronting Chatsworth Road, including a sheltered housing complex, a busy medical centre and a large secondary school.”

Mr Perkins has previously criticised the county council for choosing a ‘poorer route’ for the path by taking it along Chatsworth Road – instead of a cross-country path from Somersall to Holymoorside which had been in the pipeline for many years.

Residents living in Calow have called for the section of the route up Crow Lane to the Royal Hospital to be changed – with hundreds signing a petition demanding a rethink.

However, cycling groups in the town have been behind the project from day one.

Chesterfield Cycle Campaign says a reduction in the speed limit and a protected cycling path should be welcomed as a ‘step change for cycle infrastructure in Chesterfield’.

The campaign has recently unveiled research showing the economic benefits of people cycling in the town are almost £6m per year.

This includes health benefits associated with savings to the NHS through avoided serious illnesses as well as business benefits from the reduction in congestion.

The civic society says all county council and Chesterfield Borough Council elected members representing divisions and wards on the route have been invited.

Members of the public are also welcome to attend and express their views on the issue.