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East Midlands Chamber News

Council drops plans for roundabout ‘improvements’


Proposals for changes to a major Chesterfield roundabout are set to be dropped at a meeting of Derbyshire County Council next week.


The changes to the Whittington Moor roundabout were announced in the summer. They included installing traffic lights on all six junctions of the roundabout and closing a prime route (Dunston Road) off a business park and industrial estate to all traffic except buses.


The council received around 1,700 responses from residents, commuters and businesses, including the Chamber.


While 67% of respondents agreed improvements were necessary to ease congestion and address issues with the speed of circulating traffic and lane discipline, 69% strongly disagreed with plans to close egress from Dunston Road.


Councillor Simon Spencer, Derbyshire County Council Cabinet Member for Highways, Transport and Infrastructure, said: “Following overwhelming objections to the plans that had been developed by external consultants it became clear to me that there was significant opposition to closing off Dunston Road.


“There was concern, shared by myself, that closing off Dunston Road would just move traffic problems elsewhere in the town.


“We’ve listened to these concerns and are not going to go ahead. We are looking at some improvements to kerbs, lane markings and signs to the roundabout, but longer term we know that we need to consider a much more radical option to improve journey times along the A61.


“The A61 was not built to cope with the amount of traffic it has now, and this is only going to grow in the future. The only solution to make significant improvements in journey times is to consider fly-overs at the Whittington Moor roundabout, Tesco roundabout and Horns Bridge roundabout.


“The county council wouldn’t be able to fund these, but there is a new national pot of money, the Major Road Network fund, and it might be possible to bid for the money for these fly-overs from this fund.”


If the report is agreed the council will include the longer-term major improvements to the A61 in a submission of potential Major Road Network projects to Midlands Connect.