A long-term vision to tackle congestion on a busy main road running through North East Derbyshire is beginning to take shape – and local people are being asked to get involved.
Derbyshire County Council, North East Derbyshire District Council and Lee Rowley MP have been working together to draw up plans to improve traffic flow on the A61 Derby Road to cut congestion and journey times in and around Wingerworth, Tupton, Ashover, Old Tupton, Clay Cross, Danesmoor.
Over the next few months, we will launch a public consultation for the proposals currently being finalised so that local people can have their say.
It follows an in-depth and detailed traffic study we commissioned in 2019 to outline how Derby Road was being used and where the traffic was going.
Using findings from the study, we have been looking at a range of potential suitable measures over the past 6 months which could be introduced to help ease the traffic situation around Clay Cross and along Derby Road as the basis for drawing-up proposals for the community to comment on.
Leader of Derbyshire County Council Councillor Barry Lewis said:
“As the main A-road south of Chesterfield, Derby Road is used by approximately 20,000 vehicles every day and although we have been doing what we can to ease the situation we know that a long-term solution is needed to address this growing problem.
“This is a real opportunity to look at the bigger picture and think about what types of infrastructure we need, big and small, to improve the way we travel in this area. As well as making improvements to the road, that means looking at creating viable alternatives to travelling by car to benefit the environment as part of our commitment to help reduce carbon emissions in Derbyshire to net zero by 2050 or sooner.
“While some things can be done now, we recognise that there will be things that take longer – possibly many years – to agree and find funding for.
“That’s why we need a long-term plan to set the direction and help us achieve our long-term ambitions for this key area of our road network.”
The long-term plan has 3 elements:
- short-term: measures to keep the road moving in the short-term such as the new traffic management control centre, which will go live next year, giving the county council much better ability to respond to problems and inform users, as well as other measures such as real-time passenger information for bus passengers
- medium-term: identifying preferred solutions to tackle some of the pinch points or challenges on or near the A61 such as electronic variable messaging signs, changes to the Storforth Lane junction and improving visibility
- long-term: investigations into what major engineering projects could potentially be needed and might be feasible, subject to funding from government, to reduce the congestion problem in the long-term for example, some of the potential options might be a bypass around Clay Cross, a new railway station or a Grassmoor link road
Proposals will be considered in light of the £25 million Clay Cross Town Deal. Several projects within the Town Deal are to improve traffic and transport in the town.
Further information about the public consultation and how local people can get involved will be available soon.