Improvements to Chesterfield’s A61 Whittington Moor Roundabout
Local residents are being invited to have their say on plans to improve a major roundabout in Chesterfield.
During August local people will be able to find out more at exhibitions which will show the proposals to improve journey times and reduce accidents on the A61 Whittington Moor roundabout.
The events are being held at Whittington Moor Methodist Church Hall, Scarsdale Road Chesterfield on:
- Saturday 4 August – 10am to 2pm
- Monday 13 August – 4pm to 7pm
- Monday 20 August – 5pm to 8pm
- Thursday 23 August – 12pm to 3pm
The proposals are to install traffic lights on all six junctions of the roundabout and close off the entrance to the roundabout from Dunston Road to all traffic apart from buses. Traffic will still be able to leave the roundabout onto Dunston Road.
Traffic lights will also be put at both ends of Sheepbridge Lane.
Councillor Simon Spencer, Derbyshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways, Transport and Infrastructure, said: “There are long delays at peak times at the Whittington Moor roundabout and with more developments planned for the local area journey times are only going to get longer.
“The roundabout also has a high rate of accidents and we need to do all we can to reduce this.
“Doing nothing is not an option so we’ve developed some proposals for significant work which will improve journey times along the A61 and cut the number of crashes.”
Councillor Spencer added: “We do recognise that those who get onto the roundabout from Dunston Road will have slightly increased journey times but we feel there is really no other option to improve Whittington Moor roundabout. The scheme has been agreed in principle but we’d still like local people to let us have their views of our proposals.”
The work is expected to cost around £5m and is being funded from the Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Local Enterprise Partnership (D2N2 LEP). This is a partnership organisation of local councils, businesses and other organisations, which takes the lead on major infrastructure projects.
A feedback form for comments will be available online from Saturday 4th August from at www.derbyshire.gov.uk/whitmoor
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q. Why is Derbyshire County Council improving the roundabout?
A. 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 will become even busier in the next few years due to planned development nearby. This will increase traffic further onto 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. Why is the speed of the traffic on the roundabout too high?
A. The roundabout is very large giving time for vehicles to accelerate and build up their speed before turning off.
Q. Why is there so much congestion?
A. Because traffic on the roundabout at peak times is fast and heavy there are only small gaps in the traffic for drivers to get onto it. This means vehicles have to wait, causing queues, especially during weekday morning and afternoon rush hours.
Q. Why are you proposing to put traffic lights on the roundabout?
A. 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.
Q. Why is the proposal to close Dunston Road?
A. Because the proposal is for six sets of traffic lights, one set for each junction, and 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 onto 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. How do you know traffic lights will solve the problems?
A. 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. Is there no other option than to close Dunston Road?
A. 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. Where do I go if Dunston Road is closed?
A. If you want to go north you can 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 will be able to use local roads with Racecourse Road and Stand Road linking to Sheffield Road.
Q. How much will this work cost and who is paying?
A. These improvements are expected to cost around £5m 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 will these roundabout improvement works start?
A. 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.