On Monday 10th July Cllr Wilson, Cllr Walker and Cllr Oakley from Darley Dale Town Council met with James Adams, Functional Lead Network Management, from Derbyshire County Council (DCC) to understand why we have so many seemingly uncontrolled roadworks and to discuss safety on and around the A6 through Darley Dale.
Disappointingly, DCC’s position was that they have very little control over the works and little scope to take action against those that bend or break the rules. The problem they face is that utility companies covering Water, Gas and Communications have a statutory right to be able to work at very short notice and the whole system is fragmented with little collaboration between parties. With all major services running under the A6, disruption will always be inevitable. Over the coming months and beyond, nine different fibre companies will be installing in the area, and they are not commercially incentivised to work together to minimise disruption – so needless to say disruption is inevitable!
It’s important that residents use the One.Network tool to report works you think are not appropriate or not on the approved One.Network map. You can access the site here.
We asked for an update on the parking restrictions (yellow lines) that had been requested at Morledge and near the two primary schools in Darley Dale. Despite missing their own deadline of the end of June for Morledge, DCC would not commit to a date when these specific orders will be implemented.
Visibility at some junctions was also discussed, with verges and speed limits on the A6 after one local resident was blown over by a speeding HGV on Dale Road. Disappointingly again, it was unlikely that we would be able to get a review of speed limits which are set by the Department for Transport. It is though, important that people report regular speeding when they see it through the DCC portal.
Cllr Walker asked for an update on the safe crossing points that were promised along the A6 due to recent housing developments and Mr Adams stated that designs for the crossing outside the Whitworth Hospital had been sent for design, so the process has started. He could not however, give a delivery date. Changes were planned too for the Station Road/A6 Junction, but again Mr Adams could give no timescales.
Cllr Walker also asked why Highways were not playing a more active role in planning decisions when new developments were changing the way that the roads were being used so dramatically. We have asked Mr Adams to write a piece for the next Town Council magazine and he has agreed to this, so something will be included in the Autumn issue.
Overall, we were grateful for the chance to raise these issues, but disappointed with the lack of accountability and transparency. We will continue to press, but it’s important that residents do what they can to bring these issues to the attention of both the Town Council, District Councillors and Susan Hobson, County Councillor for Derwent Valley. We will issue more updates as we have them.