Residents have their say on gridlocked A61 road in Chesterfield and Clay Cross

North East Derbyshire MP Lee Rowley, right, with former transport minister Chris Grayling on the A61 near Clay Cross earlier this year.
North East Derbyshire MP Lee Rowley, right, with former transport minister Chris Grayling on the A61 near Clay Cross earlier this year.

North East Derbyshire MP Lee Rowley has published the results of his survey about congestion on the A61-Derby Road.

Mr Rowley has made tackling congestion on the route one of his major policy objectives since being elected in 2017.

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According to the MP, thousands of residents have responded to the survey over past few months, as he canvassed opinions in Wingerworth, Tupton, Old Tupton, Clay Cross, Danesmoor, North Wingfield and Grassmoor.

The ConservativeMP said: “Congestion on the Derby Road is a really important issue for many residents who live in the south of Chesterfield. The fact that thousands of people responded to my survey just highlights this. I remember congestion causing problems on the road when I was growing up in Hasland and it’s only got worse since then.”

He added: “The results are a snapshot, rather than a representation of every resident, but I’ve been overwhelmed by the number of responses I have received.”

The majority of people responding to the survey (80%) were those who usually drive their own vehicle along Derby Road, but there was also input from regular bus users and pedestrians.

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Typically, they were using the road to travel to Chesterfield (79%) but others were most frequently travelling to Clay Cross, the Alma Leisure Centre, Chesterfield Royal Hospital, Derby, Sheffield or other destinations.

The biggest pinch points identified by residents were at the Storforth Lane junction (25%), along Clay Cross High Street (24%), between Storforth Lane junction and Horns Bridge roundabout (23%), and at Horns Bridge roundabout (11%). The remaining respondents selected the whole road as being difficult.

Mr Rowley said: “It’s clear there is a problem here and we all need to focus on this more in the coming years.

“Traffic clearly slows at the key junctions and bottlenecks along the road.”

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When asked for ideas on fixing the congestion problem, respondents to the survey gave a wide variety of suggestions.

The most common proposal (23%) was to build some form of bypass around Clay Cross.

There was also support for link roads to the A617 (20%) and Hasland (19%), while other people suggested removing traffic lights along Derby Road (16%), or widening the road (12%).

Other respondents (11%) thought outside the box and proposed building a new train station between Clay Cross and Chesterfield to provide an accessible alternative to travelling by road.

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The MP said: “Although suggestions to ease the congestion were varied, more than three quarters of all respondents suggested building some sort of bypass or link road to divert traffic.

“There’s going to be no silver bullet to solve this issue and it will take many years, but these survey results will help highlight what the issues are, where they are most prevalent and what the possible solutions could be.”

He added: “This a good step in the right direction and an example of how we can work together as a community to help tackle this issue.”

The MP now intends to share the survey results with local councils and the Government for further consideration towards joints solutions.

He discussed the issue with earlier this month Grant Shapps, the new Secretary of State for Transport, having already brought it to the attention of the previous minister, Chris Grayling, at the start of the year.

Councillor Martin Thacker, leader of North East Derbyshire District Council, said: “Lee’s survey underlines the view of many local residents that something needs to be done.

“At NEDDC we are willing to work with all councils and appropriate organisations to develop realistic solutions to this increasing problem.”

Councillor Barry Lewis, leader of Derbyshire County Council, thanked Mr Rowley for working to gather the survey responses.

He added: “The results will assist us in understanding the specific issues regarding Derby Road.

“We recognise that there is a long-standing problem with congestion on the road and will work with Lee, North East Derbyshire District Council and the Government to tackle these concerns.”