Darley bridge bypass An affordable alternative

Cllr Coyne continues to demand a by-pass for the hamlet of Darley Bridge (Mercury letters, July 18), despite, as she says, being told over many years that funding to acquire land, construct a highway and a road bridge would not be available or justified.

This period includes 28 years of a Labour controlled County Council during which time financial resources were more plentiful and land was available.

Four years ago, when I became the local County Councillor and a Conservative administration was elected, I undertook to pursue a resolution with officers at DCC to help try and alleviate the problems principally caused by heavy vehicles visiting the local Enthoven premises.

Officers advised me that basic costs for a bypass would start at around £6m to construct the road and bridge and that the limited government funding available today is directed to the urgent safety projects outstanding across the county. In those circumstances it is difficult to justify committing scarce public funds to support the consequences of the activities of one local company.

Despite Cllr Coyne’s refusal to accept this position discussions have continued with DCC officers and Enthovens to try and identify an affordable and achievable scheme that would at least address part of the problem encountered by local residents, namely, heavy vehicles trying to pass each other in the narrow village street. Such a scheme, using illuminated warning signs, was costed and discussions have taken place between DCC and Enthovens about capital costs and ongoing maintenance.

During the last year this proposal has been discussed with local Parish Council representatives and there is a meeting arranged to discuss the merits of the scheme with the local community in the near future. If acceptable, this is a scheme that is affordable and DCC officers believe that it will assist in alleviating some of the problems. Whether this scheme is adopted will largely be determined by the community and funding support from the Enthoven company.

Cllr Coyne conveniently avoids mentioning this alternative proposal as she clearly sees no other solution than the investment of substantial public funds to construct a bypass to accommodate the traffic to and from this local employer. In her own words she’s been waiting for many years but with the nation’s finances a long way from recovery, I can’t see any prospect of it being considered in the future.

Cllr Mike Longden

County Councillor for Derwent Valley divisio