What this consultation is about
This consultation is now closed. A report was presented to Cabinet on 20 December 2018, agenda item 11.
We held some events during August 2018 where you’ll be able to find out more about proposals to improve journey times and reduce accidents on A61 Whittington Moor roundabout.
The events were held at Whittington Moor Methodist Church Hall, Scarsdale Road, Chesterfield, on:
- Saturday 4 August 2018 between 10am and 2pm
- Monday 13 August 2018 between 4pm and 7pm
- Monday 20 August 2018 between 5pm and 8pm
- Thursday 23 August 2018 between noon and 3pm
The proposals were to install traffic lights on all 6 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.
To cope with increased traffic from Dunston Road at Sheepbridge Lane there were also proposals for extra traffic lights at both ends of Sheepbridge Lane. We do recognise that those who get onto the roundabout from Dunston Road will have slightly increased journey times but for us to be able to improve Whittington Moor roundabout we believe that it is essential to restrict access to it from Dunston Road.
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 reduce accidents.
Please let us have your views of our proposals.
Reasons for improving Whittington Moor roundabout
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 is set to 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 5 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.
Reason for speeding vehicles
The roundabout is very large giving time for vehicles to accelerate and build up their speed before turning off.
Reasons for congestion
The 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.
Reasons for proposing traffic lights on the roundabout
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.
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.
Proposal to close Dunston Road
The proposal is for 6 sets of traffic lights, one set for each junction, as 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.
Other options other than closing Dunston Road
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.
Other routes if Dunston Road is closed
If you wanted to go north you could 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 would be able to use local roads with Racecourse Road and Stand Road linking to Sheffield Road.
Cost of work
These improvements are expected to cost around £5 million 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.
Work start date
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.