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Traffic Management Measures Introduced in Chesterfield were "tokenistic and badly thought through gestures"

November 19, 2020 7:27 AM
By Keith Falconer

road closures

The Government is currently reviewing the first round of, often controversial, traffic management measures that were hastily introduced during the first Covid Lockdown in March -May 2020.

In Chesterfield the experience has been that the use of ugly concrete blocks and temporary plastic and metal barriers, to block off parking spaces and widen pavements/narrow roads has been a badly thought out failure. It has made Chesterfield streets unattractive and has done nothing to encourage pedestrians. It has also reduced disabled access.

Much of it has smacked of badly planned tokenism. The blocking off of short-term parking spaces on South Place for example is simply an irrelevance. Had it succeeded in its stated aim of encouraging shoppers to walk from Ravenside to the Town Centre, it would have also have increased the number of car drivers receiving a £100 fine for leaving the, private, Ravenside car park.

Outside of the Town Centre, Crow Lane was sealed off using unsightly concrete blocks, with the stated intention of "encouraging cycling to the Royal Hospital." The County Cllr who represents that area has told a full meeting of Derbyshire County Council that just two members of staff at the Royal use it for that purpose. Offset against that has to be consideration of the extra road miles made by residents of Calow and Brimington Common who now drive longer journeys via Calow and the congested A632/Hady Hill route or up Manor Road to Brimington and the congested A619 route.

Such unforeseen consequences are the result of hasty decisions, taken with no consultation and rushed through simply to say "we have done something".

Eight months on these makeshift barriers need rethinking and redesigning. Safe and well-planned cycle routes, such as that alongside the Inner Relief Road, are to be supported. Tokenistic and badly thought through gestures are not. Especially when the Government has, for once, made available large sums of money to enable serious measures to encourage pedestrian and cycle access.

notes :

13th November 2020 - The government have given councils across England a further £175 million to create safe space for cycling and walking as surveys and independent polls show strong public support for high-quality schemes.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/175-million-more-for-cycling-and-walking-as-research-shows-public-support

In this latest round Derbyshire County Council have been awarded £1,684,350

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/emergency-active-travel-fund-local-transport-authority-allocations/emergency-active-travel-fund-total-indicative-allocations