£6m just could not be justified

I note the letter from Geoff Gee berating my comments about the traffic issues in Darley Bridge and take this opportunity to respond to some of his comments.

I challenge his assertion that with regards to Darley Bridge issues, he claims that “I know best”

The issues to which he refers are the demand for a Relief Road to reduce commercial traffic movement locally and a request he made for white lines to be painted to stop cars parking near thelocal public house.

In her recent letter, Cllr Coyne reveals that a ‘relief road’ has been sought for many years and, after I was elected four years ago was asked to pursue this matter with the Authority.

After meetings with the community, Enthovens and officers of the DCC it was made very clear by the Authority that funding of around £6m could not be justified for this proposal, a message, I understand, that has been delivered consistently by the Highways Authority over many years.

Rather than accepting this outcome, as other local representatives seem to have done in the past,I asked officers to explore alternative solutions that might alleviate some of the problem, was affordable and achievable now. The subsequent proposal is not ‘my scheme’ as Mr Gee claims, but a suggestion made by professional Highways officers and, despite my own reservations about its effectiveness, it is right that the local community who suffer the traffic problems should have anopportunity to examine the suggested scheme.

Mr Gee is right that it’s taken over nine months to develop this scheme, time for DCC officers to explore alternative solutions, the effectiveness of suitable schemes operating in the UK, designing a suitable local scheme, discussions with Enthovens and meetings with the Parish Council and community.

It’s a small amount of time in relation to the years spent pursuing a relief road.

Mr Gee’s other issue relates to requests for white line markings to be installed on the road near the local public house to prohibit parking. He was advised that these markings would not be mandatory or legally enforceable, so could not be publically funded.

On two occasions DCC haveoffered to install the lines for a small charge but neither offer has been pursued.

Finally, with regards to the issue raised by Cllr Coyne about the proposed Cycle Trail. I too was disappointed by lack of consultation prior to the DCC application for funding but as Cllr Botham explained in his letter last week, full consultation with all concerned parties will take place before the proposal is progressed.

Cllr Mike Longden

Via email