Q&A on proposed changes to Chesterfield's Whittington Moor roundabout
As revealed by the Derbyshire Times, Derbyshire County Council is planning to make 'improvements' to Whittington Moor roundabout in Chesterfield.
Here is a Q&A with the council on the issue...
Q. What are your reasons for wanting to 'improve' Whittington Moor roundabout?
A. The council says: "The A61 is a main road between Chesterfield and Sheffield and the most important junction in the north of Chesterfield. It is very busy and is set to become even busier in the next few years due to planned development nearby. This will increase traffic further on to this roundabout.
"The number of minor collisions at this roundabout is relatively high - 35 injury accidents in the last five years. These are because of speeding vehicles and the short gaps between traffic wanting to get on to the roundabout.
"Congestion in and around the roundabout is also high, causing significant delays. Queues can tail back over half a mile on the A61 meaning the road becomes unreliable with standing traffic; in turn this is causing accidents.
"The roundabout is used by many different road users including businesses, schools, residents and commuters. The safety and reliability of journey times for all road users is a top priority for this council."
Q. What are the reasons for speeding vehicles?
A. The council says: "The roundabout is very large giving time for vehicles to accelerate and build up their speed before turning off."
Q. What are the reasons for congestion?
A. The council says: "The traffic on the roundabout at peak times is fast and heavy there are only small gaps in the traffic for drivers to get on to it. This means vehicles have to wait, causing queues, especially during weekday morning and afternoon rush hours."
Q. What are your reasons for proposing traffic lights on the roundabout?
A. The council says: "The aim is to create bigger gaps in the traffic to reduce queuing and allow people to join and leave the roundabout more safely. We think the best way to do this is with traffic lights. It is proposed that priority be given to traffic travelling to and from Sheffield as this is the route with most traffic.
"We have used professional design consultants who specialise in developing road schemes using traffic modelling techniques. These consider the existing layout and potential options, in this case, to reduce the number of accidents and congestion. Of the solutions that were considered, the proposal for traffic lights, was the one thought most likely to work."
Q. What are your reasons for proposing to close Dunston Road?
A. The council says: "The proposal is for six sets of traffic lights, one set for each junction, as the roundabout is large it still wouldn’t leave much room for traffic to wait at the lights. To keep the traffic moving more freely the plan is to restrict traffic on one of the minor roads to reduce the number of vehicles wanting to get on to the roundabout. Dunston Road has been selected because it will have the largest impact on clearing traffic. This is because a large amount of traffic from the A61 and Sheffield Road passes by Dunston Road to get on to the A61 north towards Sheffield."
Q. Did you look at other options instead of closing Dunston Road?
A. The council says: "We did look at other options including opening up other roads, only closing Dunston Road at peak times or tolerating long queues. Our modelling suggests that restricting traffic along Dunston Road, except for buses, will mean traffic will still be able to use Scarsdale Road to get to the doctors, school, church and businesses."
Q. What are the other routes if Dunston Road is closed?
A. The council says: "If you wanted to go north you could use the A61 junction at Sheepbridge. Our proposal is to put traffic lights at both ends of Sheepbridge Lane to improve traffic flows along here and Dunston Road. Southbound traffic would be able to use local roads with Racecourse Road and Stand Road linking to Sheffield Road."
Q. How much would the work cost?
A. The council says: "These improvements are expected to cost around Â£5million and be funded through the Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire Local Enterprise Partnership (D2N2 LEP). This is a partnership organisation of local councils, including Derbyshire County Council, with the bulk of the cost coming from businesses and other organisations that take the lead on major infrastructure projects."
Q. When would the work start?
A. The council says: "Work is likely to start in spring 2019 and be complete by the end of autumn 2019 during the better weather and before the busy Christmas period. Where possible work will take place overnight and at weekends to minimise disruption, noise and dust during normal working hours."
The council wants your views on the proposals so is holding consultation events at Whittington Moor Methodist Church Hall on Scarsdale Road, Chesterfield, on:
Monday, August 13 - 4pm to 7pm
Monday, August 20 - 5pm to 8pm
Thursday, August 23 - 12pm to 3pm
You can also take part in an online survey via www.snapsurveys.com/wh/s.asp?k=153305278156