Derbyshire delegation meets transport secretary over Ashbourne by-pass

12 September 2017

A Derbyshire delegation of senior technical officers is set to meet the government's transport secretary today to discuss Ashbourne's long-standing traffic problems.

Our officers are heading to Westminster to meet with the Secretary of State for Transport Chris Grayling MP, together with former transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin - who is also MP for Derbyshire Dales - this afternoon (Tuesday 12 September 2017).

Top of the agenda will be technical discussions about traffic issues facing the historic market town which is a major visitor attraction and a gateway to the Peak District National Park.

Our Member for Highways, Transport and Infrastructure, Councillor Simon Spencer, supported by Ashbourne South Councillor, Steve Bull, said:

"There is no doubt that Ashbourne and its surrounding areas would benefit greatly from a by-pass.

"It is very early days and a lot of work still needs to be done before plans can be progressed further but we welcome this opportunity for our officers to meet the transport secretary for high level discussions as a step in the right direction to explain the issues facing the town and to raise the possibility of a by-pass."

Earlier this year our Cabinet gave the green light for investigation work to be carried out into the possibility of a new Ashbourne by-pass. Options for other solutions to the town's traffic problems, other than a by-pass, will also be considered.

Evidence into the feasibility of a by-pass is now being collected. This will then be used to put together a business case to identify potential solutions to the town's congestion problems.

Local businesses and other stakeholders would then need to be consulted. Funding for the project would also need to be secured.

Councillor Spencer added:

"A key issue is that the A515 which cuts through the narrow, one-way road system of the town carries a substantial amount of traffic, including large numbers of lorries carrying minerals from some of the county's major quarries.

"We recognise that some people may have concerns about a by-pass but put simply, the road network within and around the town is not suited to today's volume and type of traffic and something needs to be done urgently to redress this."