BRIDGE WILL BE ONE-WAY

MATLOCK Bridge is to be made one-way to traffic despite the objections from organisations in the town.

Derbyshire County Council announced its decision last week along with a number of other changes to be made to the town's road layout.

The alterations were agreed in preparation for the major redevelopment of the Cawdor Quarry site.

A new Sainsbury's supermarket, petrol station, car park, bus station and housing are proposed for the site, as well as industrial and office units.

Most of the road orders will only be introduced when the new A6 diversion road, linking Dale Road and Bakewell Road, has been built.

The list of changes includes the following:

Matlock Bridge being made one way to traffic travelling from the Crown Square roundabout towards Dale Road, with no right turn allowed from the bridge to the link road.

Traffic lights to be installed at the junction of Matlock Bridge and Dale Road to improve pedestrian crossing facilities.

Pavements across the bridge being widened to create separate lanes for cyclists and pedestrians.

A 30mph speed limit being extended on Bakewell Road from the Dimple to a new roundabout which will link up the new diversion route.

A no-waiting zone being created along the entire A6 diversion route, and access routes to the new supermarket and the Snitterton link road.

Cllr Brian Lucas, Derbyshire County Council's cabinet member for environment and highways, said: "A lot of Matlock residents have expressed strong views on the way that the town's roads should be re-designed, and while we feel our plans provide the best solution, we will monitor the situation to see if further changes are needed."

The county council is carrying out traffic surveys to decide whether full pedestrianisation of the bridge would be a viable possibility in the future.

It is concerned about the knock-on effect on the rest of the town, especially the two schools in Starkholmes if the traffic is diverted.

A number of residents and businesses in the town are, however, still worried that the time taken and disruption caused while completing the plans will hit trade hard.

Chairman of Matlock Business Group, Robin Farmer, said: "We are still gravely concerned about the disruption that will take place while the work is carried out, with the potential loss of business being large and affecting many in the town.

"The eventual benefits of the site and road changes will be positive, as something needs to be done about the volume of traffic as well as attracting more people to the town.

"We just hope that before then businesses have not been hit too hard by the initial work to enjoy those benefits."

Ken Parker, of the Matlock Civic Society, added: "We are expecting that in the near future, full pedestrianisation of the bridge will be experimented, and hope that this will prove to be a success and therefore made permanent."

By Mark Duffy