For many years traffic congestion on the A61 to the south of Chesterfield has been a major problem, with traffic often queued for long periods of time, causing longer journey times, significant air pollution issues and potential delays to response times for emergency vehicles that have to use that route. The congestion has knock on impacts to other communities, as drivers take alternative ‘rat run’ routes to avoid the A61.
The situation is only likely to get worse with the completion of numerous housing estates between Chesterfield and Clay Cross, adding new demands to a route already unable to cope. These were all seemingly granted planning permission by Conservative controlled North East Derbyshire District without any consideration to the impacts on traffic on the A61, or additional investment in public transport alternatives.
Derbyshire County Council, North East Derbyshire District Council and the MP for North East Derbyshire, Lee Rowley, have recently launched what they claim to be a ‘plan’ to address this situation. While many years in production, in the opinion of Derbyshire Green Party, the plan is woefully inadequate to tackle the issues faced and indeed does not set out any significant new initiatives. The ‘plan’ only brings further frustration as it sets out yet further consultation, whilst leaving the residents of North East Derbyshire and Chesterfield to continue to face the problems of the A61.
Derbyshire Green Party Co-ordinator Darren Yates said, “Despite many months and years of promising action on the A61, the Conservative Councils and MP have once again come up short and demonstrated that, just like a lot of their promises for ‘levelling up’, their actions rarely live up to the rhetoric.”
Green Party campaigner and Wingerworth Parish Councillor, Frank Adlington-Stringer said, “Urgent action on the A61 is so desperately needed. That must start with serious investment in both public and active transport, something which Derbyshire Conservatives have continually starved of funding. Derbyshire Green Party are committed to improving our bus and rail networks and making our roads safe for cyclists.”
Derbyshire Green Party is calling on Derbyshire County Council, North East Derbyshire District Council and the MP for North East Derbyshire, Lee Rowley, to seriously rethink their proposals. They cannot keep kicking the can down the road – it’s traffic jammed!
Read the DERBYSHIRE TIMES ARTICLE