Cycle route plans raise safety fears

Angry residents on Holmfield at the footpath that it is proposed to turn into a cycle route
Angry residents on Holmfield at the footpath that it is proposed to turn into a cycle route
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FEARS over road and pedestrian safety have been raised by residents in a leafy area of Buxton who are protesting against a proposed multi-user cycle route for the town.

As part of a wider scheme to link the town with the Tissington and High Peak Trails, plans have been submitted by Peak Cycle Links for a route linking Buxton Country Park, through Grin Low Woods, to Holmfield and Buxton town centre.

But part of the proposed route – running from the woods out onto Holmfield – has been met with objections from nearby residents who have raised concerns about the potential effects on road and pedestrian safety.

Joanne Sellars, a resident of Holmfield, claims: “The route will increase traffic – vehicular, bicycles, pedestrians, buggies and wheelchairs – on what is already a very dangerous junction, from the woods onto Holmfield and then sharply around the corner onto Green Lane.

“My children use the lane to access the playing field known locally as the ‘Rec’, and walk the proposed route to and from school. The increased heavy use will mean the health and safety of my children crossing to school and the ‘Rec’ will be compromised.

“It is dangerous enough walking from Holmfield onto Green Lane with what is called the ‘rat-run’, cars parked double on both sides of the road and an almost blind, very sharp junction onto Green Lane.”

Concerns have also been expressed over potential effects on woodland at the back of Holmfield, understood to be a Site of Special Scientific Interest, as well as the impact on wildlife, trees and plants.

John Grimshaw CBE, of Peak Cycle Links, said “At public meetings residents have repeatedly expressed concern about the way their road is used as a short cut.

“We have offered to work with them and the council to try to address this problem.

“The connecting track onto the road is very rough at present and serves as an open drain taking run-off and debris down from the woods onto Holmfield.

“We will trap the debris, pipe the water and surface the lane.

“We have agreed to provide whatever new fencing or hedging our neighbours require and we are taking measures to slow down cyclists as they approach the road.”

Mr Grimshaw said they would continue to work closely with the county council, and hoped to continue refining the project with Holmfield residents.

He added: “We are very confident that the general public, and local residents in particular, will welcome the creation of a path which is gently sloped, firm and dry throughout the year, right on their doorstep and running through beautiful woods to give them a traffic-free access to the High Peak railway and the moorlands beyond Ladmanlow.”

• Campaigners are urging objectors to write to: Development Control Manager, Sue Ashworth, Municipal Buildings, Glossop, Derbyshire, SK13 8AF, quoting the reference HPK/2011/0284. The deadline for letters of objection is June 30.