Residents and other interested parties have also expressed concern with traffic congestion in Ashbourne.
As such we commissioned Scott Wilson Ltd to:
Identify current traffic issues affecting Ashbourne town centre, with particular reference to traffic circulation.
Determine if the current system represents the best that can be achieved for the network, as a whole.
Establish if any improvements to the current traffic system could be made.
The Ashbourne Traffic Study made several recommendations to reduce congestion within the town. These recommendations included the closure of the Market Square car park, with associated increases in parking capacity at the Shawcroft car park.
Vehicles circulating within the town to obtain a space at the Market Square car park causing delays to others.
The poor entry/exit demarcation leading to stop-start manoeuvres by other vehicles (including HGVs) on the steep A515.
It was also noted that the full capacity of the Market Square car park cannot be utilised at times of peak parking demand due the use of the area on two days of the week for the stall market.
The report noted that the Market Square car park was under the control of Derbyshire Dales District Council and that this recommendation could only be implemented following consultation.
In initial discussion with Derbyshire Dales District Council it was noted that:
The Market Square car park has an important role in the local economy (and at different times of the day).
They are undertaking a scheme to improve the parking surface at the Fishpond Meadows (seasonal) car park.
They have in the past investigated the cost of decking the Shawcroft car park and found the costs to be very high. As such, external funding would be required as DDDC's current resources could not accommodate such a scheme.
They are aware of public aspirations to both keep the car parking on the Market Square, and to turn this area over in part or in total to pedestrian use (with no viewpoint being in the majority).
As such, the options could be:
To close the Market Square car park and turn over to pedestrian use.
To close the Market Square car park during the daytime only (i.e. allow parking near to centres of the night-time economy during the evening).
Keep parking on the Market Square (as the benefits of parking here outweigh the traffic problems caused by such parking).
To allow parking on the Fishpond Meadows car park throughout the year.
If the outcome of the consultation on the findings of the Traffic Survey result in the the view that parking on the Market Square and/or Fishpond Meadows should be reviewed, it is understood that the Derbyshire Dales District Council would then wish to undertake further public consultation on the possible options before considering the way forward in these two areas.
The Ashbourne Study report is available to view in the related documents section.
If you require any further information please contact the South Area Traffic and Safety Team on 01629 538592 and ask to speak to an officer responsible for the Ashbourne area.