The long anticipated temporary changes to the road layout in Darley Abbey to provide a much better environment for cycling and walking, as a response to the COVID emergency, have now been implemented.
The main feature is to stop motor traffic turning into Church Lane from Duffield Road thereby closing off a long-standing rat run. In normal traffic times, a lot of the congestion on Duffield Road is caused by people using Church Lane and Darley Abbey to avoid parts of the Duffield Road queue going south (and thus making the queue worse!).
Cycles can still turn into Church Lane so, with the removal of the through motor traffic in the village, the environment will be much better for cycling and walking. All parts of the village can still be reached by motor by using Mile Ash Lane.
Turning into Church Lane from Duffield Road has been restricted in both directions. Motor traffic can still exit from Church Lane onto Duffield Road (in either direction).
Further along Church Lane, cones and barriers have been used to provide more space for walking and thus the road is reduced to a single lane in places.
The Council is to be congratulated for implementing this scheme to make a significant change to the road layout to accommodate the increased demand for cycling and walking arising from COVID. There are likely to be complaints from some people who previously drove along the rat run and we should ensure that those of us supporting these measures also pass on positive feedback to the Council officers and Councillors. Sometimes a very few, but very vocal, objectors can scupper excellent plans and we need to ensure that their loud voices don’t drown out the support from most of the public.
As an example of the minimal impact on driving times, a journey from Duffield to the most northern part of Church Lane before these changes would take 5 minutes (according to Google Maps) and now takes 9 minutes – a very minor impact for a much improved environment throughout Darley Abbey. A journey in the opposite direction is unchanged.
Well Done Derby City Council!
6th September update The arrangement of cones has changed and the entrance into Church Lane is now described as a “bus gate” with signs saying that only buses and cycles are allowed and that cameras are in operation. Might be a lucrative source of income to the Council if the cameras are actually functional.
27th October 2020 Update The City Council is now collecting feedback on the scheme before deciding on how it should be continued (if at all). It is important that anyone supporting the scheme gives their feedback at http://www.derby.gov.uk/darleytravelsurvey