A5004 Long Hill Safer Roads Fund Bid

P. Puddles made this Freedom of Information request to Derbyshire County Council

Automatic anti-spam measures are in place for this older request. Please let us know if a further response is expected or if you are having trouble responding.

The request was successful.

Dear Derbyshire County Council,

In 2018, DCC was awarded £2,540,000 from the Government’s Safer Roads Fund to improve road safety on the A5004 Long Hill between Whaley Bridge and Buxton.

In 2019 this was “named as Britain’s most ‘high-risk’ road in a national study”. (Source: https://www.buxtonadvertiser.co.uk/news/...)

As of 2022, it appears none of these funds have been spent and the council has yet to release a final plan for works or confirm what the safety improvements will entail.

1) Please provide a working draft of the council’s plan for spending the A5004 Safer Roads Fund funding, including indicative timescales for when this will be delivered.

The council’s bid document includes a cost analysis for measures. This includes “Bicycle Lane (Off-Road)” highlighted in bold, with a length of 10km and a projected cost of around £1.5m. Separately, the D2N2 Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan states in its potential funding sources: “Safer Roads Fund - Off-road route parallel to the A5004 Long Hill”.

2) Does DCC plan to provide an off-road bicycle lane alongside the A5004? If so, please provide all available details.

3) If DCC does not plan an off-road bicycle lane alongside the A5004, what other improvements is the council proposing to enable cycling on this route?

The previous NCR 68 (aka Pennine Cycleway) has been delisted by Sustrans as unsuitable for their network. It includes far steeper hills, narrow single track lanes shared with vehicles, rough gravel and one particularly difficult section of uneven surface above White Hall. Even if given an improved surface, it would not provide the same benefit as a cycle lane alongside (or as close as possible) to the comparatively even and gentle gradient of the A5004.

Given this “high risk” road has no cycling nor pedestrian facilities yet presents such a potentially feasible route between major towns and into the Peak District National Park, this is something DCC should be progressing with urgency to ensure the funding provides maximum benefit to those road users most vulnerable.

Yours faithfully,

P. Puddles

Place FOI_EIR (Place), Derbyshire County Council

Controlled

Acknowledgement

Dear P Puddles

Thank you for your enquiry, which we received on 8 May 2022.

We will be dealing with your request under the terms of the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 and/or Environmental Information Regulations 2004 as
appropriate.

Your request was for:

 

In 2018, DCC was awarded £2,540,000 from the Government’s Safer Roads Fund
to improve road safety on the A5004 Long Hill between Whaley Bridge and
Buxton.

 

In 2019 this was “named as Britain’s most ‘high-risk’ road in a national
study”. (Source:
[1]https://www.buxtonadvertiser.co.uk/news/...)

 

As of 2022, it appears none of these funds have been spent and the council
has yet to release a final plan for works or confirm what the safety
improvements will entail.

 

1) Please provide a working draft of the council’s plan for spending the
A5004 Safer Roads Fund funding, including indicative timescales for when
this will be delivered.

 

The council’s bid document includes a cost analysis for measures. This
includes “Bicycle Lane (Off-Road)” highlighted in bold, with a length of
10km and a projected cost of around £1.5m. Separately, the D2N2 Local
Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan states in its potential funding
sources: “Safer Roads Fund - Off-road route parallel to the A5004 Long
Hill”.

 

2) Does DCC plan to provide an off-road bicycle lane alongside the A5004?
If so, please provide all available details.

 

3) If DCC does not plan an off-road bicycle lane alongside the A5004, what
other improvements is the council proposing to enable cycling on this
route?

 

The previous NCR 68 (aka Pennine Cycleway) has been delisted by Sustrans
as unsuitable for their network. It includes far steeper hills, narrow
single track lanes shared with vehicles, rough gravel and one particularly
difficult section of uneven surface above White Hall. Even if given an
improved surface, it would not provide the same benefit as a cycle lane
alongside (or as close as possible) to the comparatively even and gentle
gradient of the A5004.

 

Given this “high risk” road has no cycling nor pedestrian facilities yet
presents such a potentially feasible route between major towns and into
the Peak District National Park, this is something DCC should be
progressing with urgency to ensure the funding provides maximum benefit to
those road users most vulnerable.

 

In accordance with the above, the deadline for replying to you is 20
working days from receipt of your request, this being 6 June 2022.
However, we will endeavour to deal with your request promptly and, if
possible, before this date.

Yours sincerely

Business Services Assistant  | Place | Access to Information Team
| Derbyshire County Council

 

 

 

 

══════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════

Join thousands of local residents who receive regular county council news
direct to their inbox. Go to our [2]website and click on the Sign Up
button.

══════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════

Think before you print! Save energy and paper. Do you really need to print
this email?

Derbyshire County Council works to improve the lives of local people by
delivering high quality services. You can find out more about us by
visiting [3]www.derbyshire.gov.uk.
If you want to work for us go to our job pages on
[4]www.derbyshire.gov.uk/jobs. You can register for e-mail alerts,
download job packs and apply on-line.

══════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════

Please Note
This email is confidential, may be legally privileged and may contain
personal views that are not the views of Derbyshire County Council. It is
intended solely for the addressee. If this email was sent to you in error
please notify us by replying to the email. Once you have done this please
delete the email and do not disclose, copy, distribute, or rely on it.
Under the Data Protection Act 2018 and the Freedom of Information Act 2000
the contents of this email may be disclosed.
Any personal information you have given us will be processed in accordance
with our privacy notices, available at
[5]www.derbyshire.gov.uk/privacynotices.

Derbyshire County Council reserves the right to monitor both sent and
received emails.

══════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════

References

Visible links
1. https://www.buxtonadvertiser.co.uk/news/...
2. https://www.derbyshire.gov.uk/council/ne...
3. http://www.derbyshire.gov.uk/
4. http://www.derbyshire.gov.uk/jobs
5. http://www.derbyshire.gov.uk/privacynoti...

Place FOI_EIR (Place), Derbyshire County Council

 

Dear Mr P Puddles

I write further to your request for information dated 6^th May 2022.  

 

We are considering your request under the terms of the
Environmental Information Regulations 2004. 
In many cases, including yours, it is not always immediately clear which
regime it is more appropriate to consider the request under.  We apologise
that we incorrectly acknowledged your request as falling under the Freedom
of Information Act 2000, however, after consideration we will be
responding under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004.  Your new
reference number is EIR/1867.

 

In accordance with the above, the deadline for replying to you is 20
working days from receipt of your request, this being 6^th May 2022, as
originally acknowledged.  However, we will endeavour to deal with your
request promptly and, if possible, before this date.

 

Thank you in advance for your co-operation.  Should you have further
questions or queries, please do not hesitate to get in contact. 

 

Yours sincerely

Business Services Assistant  | Place | Access to Information Team
| Derbyshire County Council

 

══════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════

Join thousands of local residents who receive regular county council news
direct to their inbox. Go to our [1]website and click on the Sign Up
button.

══════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════

Think before you print! Save energy and paper. Do you really need to print
this email?

Derbyshire County Council works to improve the lives of local people by
delivering high quality services. You can find out more about us by
visiting [2]www.derbyshire.gov.uk.
If you want to work for us go to our job pages on
[3]www.derbyshire.gov.uk/jobs. You can register for e-mail alerts,
download job packs and apply on-line.

══════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════

Please Note
This email is confidential, may be legally privileged and may contain
personal views that are not the views of Derbyshire County Council. It is
intended solely for the addressee. If this email was sent to you in error
please notify us by replying to the email. Once you have done this please
delete the email and do not disclose, copy, distribute, or rely on it.
Under the Data Protection Act 2018 and the Freedom of Information Act 2000
the contents of this email may be disclosed.
Any personal information you have given us will be processed in accordance
with our privacy notices, available at
[4]www.derbyshire.gov.uk/privacynotices.

Derbyshire County Council reserves the right to monitor both sent and
received emails.

══════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════

References

Visible links
1. https://www.derbyshire.gov.uk/council/ne...
2. http://www.derbyshire.gov.uk/
3. http://www.derbyshire.gov.uk/jobs
4. http://www.derbyshire.gov.uk/privacynoti...

Place FOI_EIR (Place), Derbyshire County Council

3 Attachments

Controlled

 

Email:             [1][email address]

Our ref:          EIR/1867

 

 

Dear Mr Puddles

 

Thank you for your recent request.

 

Your enquiry was as follows:

 

In 2018, DCC was awarded £2,540,000 from the Government’s Safer Roads Fund
to improve road safety on the A5004 Long Hill between Whaley Bridge and
Buxton.

In 2019 this was “named as Britain’s most ‘high-risk’ road in a national
study”. (Source:
[2]https://www.buxtonadvertiser.co.uk/news/...)

As of 2022, it appears none of these funds have been spent and the council
has yet to release a final plan for works or confirm what the safety
improvements will entail.

1) Please provide a working draft of the council’s plan for spending the
A5004 Safer Roads Fund funding, including indicative timescales for when
this will be delivered.

The council’s bid document includes a cost analysis for measures. This
includes “Bicycle Lane (Off-Road)” highlighted in bold, with a length of
10km and a projected cost of around £1.5m. Separately, the D2N2 Local
Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan states in its potential funding
sources: “Safer Roads Fund - Off-road route parallel to the A5004 Long
Hill”.

2) Does DCC plan to provide an off-road bicycle lane alongside the A5004?
If so, please provide all available details.

3) If DCC does not plan an off-road bicycle lane alongside the A5004, what
other improvements is the council proposing to enable cycling on this
route?

The previous NCR 68 (aka Pennine Cycleway) has been delisted by Sustrans
as unsuitable for their network. It includes far steeper hills, narrow
single track lanes shared with vehicles, rough gravel and one particularly
difficult section of uneven surface above White Hall. Even if given an
improved surface, it would not provide the same benefit as a cycle lane
alongside (or as close as possible) to the comparatively even and gentle
gradient of the A5004.

Given this “high risk” road has no cycling nor pedestrian facilities yet
presents such a potentially feasible route between major towns and into
the Peak District National Park, this is something DCC should be
progressing with urgency to ensure the funding provides maximum benefit to
those road users most vulnerable.

Please see the below Environmental Information Regulations 2004 response:

 

Regarding the Government's Safer Roads Fund Grant Award, and the timing of
the funding release :-

 

Derbyshire County Council (DCC) received a letter dated 13th June 2018,
stating that the Department for Transport (DfT) would provide a maximum
funding contribution, by means of a Grant Award of £2,540,000, from the
Safer Roads Fund (SRF) to cover the A5004 Long Hill (Buxton to Whaley
Bridge) Project.

 

This letter stated that originally, it was the intention that the award
would be made in financial year 2020/21.  When COVID-19 came along, there
was much uncertainty, understandably, from DfT during financial year 2020
/ 2021.  (This as a result of their department / government funding
reviews, and prioritisation of Government Spending during the Covid
Period).

 

There was significant uncertainty regarding when (and indeed if), their
Grant of £2,540,000 could be paid to DCC.  Late in the financial year 2020
/ 2021, DCC did receive confirmation from DfT that they were in a position
to honour their "intention to award" letter of June 2018.

 

Subsequently, the £2.54m funding for A5004 Long Hill SRF Project was
indeed paid to Derbyshire County Council, but not until the 5th March
2021.  This therefore allowed some further Preliminary Design Work by DCC
on the A5004 Project to recommence.  (i.e. The risk of not receiving the
funding was removed in March 2021, just over a year ago.)

 

Since March 2021 Preliminary Design on the various solutions to improve
road safety along the A5004 has progressed, to a sufficient stage where we
can take the various draft proposals to a Public Engagement/Public
Consultation Process.

 

It is planned that this Consultation Process will commence late June
2022.  This consultation/engagement process will seek comments and views
regarding improvements for cyclists and the link for cyclists between
Buxton and Whaley Bridge.  Further details regarding provision of
improvements for cyclists are discussed in more detail below under
paragraph 2), but these proposals would obviously be subject to and be
informed by comments received from the Consultation process itself, from
the local community and stakeholders .

 

1) An Excel Spreadsheet version of the Programme for the A5004 SRF project
is attached.  Site delivery of the various Works at locations along the
A5004 route corridor, cannot take place until Detail Design of these
various items of Engineering Works is completed.  Detail Design is the
next stage in the process, and on the assumption that the Consultation is
successful, and allows elements of the Project to proceed, then this
detail Design would follow on/commence as shown on the attached Excel
version Plan/Programme.  Please accept this document showing the "Working
Draft/Plan", including indicative timescales.

 

Note that the council’s SRF bid document included a cost analysis for
measures, which did cover “Bicycle Lane (Off-Road)”.  Similarly, the D2N2
Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan states in its potential
funding sources: “Safer Roads Fund - Off-road route parallel to the A5004
Long Hill”.  The potential timescales for providing improvements for
cyclists, are discussed under item 2) below, and are identified on the
Excel Spreadsheet Plan attached.

 

Working with the Derbyshire Constabulary and the Derbyshire Fire and
Rescue Service, two of the main partner agencies of the Derbyshire and
Derby Road Safety Partnership, we propose the following in the programme
as part of the holistic approach taken in the measures to improve safety
on the A5004;

a. High risk route temporary signing to raise awareness of those groups
most vulnerable on the road, such as motorcycles, and the significant
proportion of casualties amongst road users from outside the local area. 
These will raise awareness of hot spot locations, and will be rotated
along the route to continually present a ‘fresh face’.

b. Targeted media engagement to raise awareness of the road’s risks.  In
the case of the A5004 this will include via the established network of
motorcycle dealers, trainers and advocate groups we already work with. 
These will both highlight the risks and signpost to our existing rider and
driver training programmes.

c. Route video recording using ‘360’ technology.  The recording can then
be used to highlight risks, improve driving and riding and engage
thoroughly with targeted groups.  The immersive nature of the experience
allows unparalleled opportunities to engage with target groups, whether
they are older drivers, motorcyclists or young drivers.  The videos can be
used at group interventions, or at public events where they can be
accessed via free sites (YouTube) in conjunction with inexpensive giveaway
headsets.  The funding will purchase hardware and the video recording.

2) It is the intention to provide A5004 parallel route(s) for cyclists,
but any definitive proposal is subject to comments from the Public
Consultation Process, and feasibility study.

(The Public Consultation / Public Engagement process is currently
programmed to commence in late June 2022, in association with the overall
A5004 Long Hill SRF Project Consultation Process.)  Preliminary Design has
been progressing on the A5004 SRF Project as a whole but to date there is
no preferred proposal for an off road parallel cycle route(s).  As a first
stage, there are proposals to provide safe interconnectivity for cyclists
from / to the A5004 onto sections of the existing cycle network nearby,
where this can be achieved.  More details of these interconnectivity
proposals linking in to the A5004 will be shown on the Public Consultation
Plans.  This, where these interconnectivity proposals are achievable
without further feasibility study work.

 

Also in the medium term, there is the possibility of using some of the
Safer Road Funding to improve an existing section of the Local Cycle
Network running parallel with the A5004 along Old Road.  In association
with this there may be some short sections where footway / cycleway
provision can be provided at locations along the A5004 verge, potentially
to link in with this "Old Road route", with surface improved to a standard
for ongoing cycle use.  (But note, there is insufficient width within
current A5004 highway limits, to allow a continuous cycle route adjacent
to A5004 to be provided "within the verge" for much of the length of the
A5004 between Buxton and Whaley Bridge.)  This is why interconnectivity is
being sought as an objective, potentially for some of the route length,
linking in with Old Road, or an alternative parallel route corridor.

 

On the approach into Whaley Bridge it is possible to pick up a completed
section of the Key Cycle Network (Shallcross Incline due to be resurfaced
in 2022/23) which takes users off Elnor Lane and the B5470 onto a traffic
free multi-user route.  Comments on this proposal will be examined at the
Public Consultation.  [The potential continuation of the route through to
George Street is still to be developed as part of Derbyshire’s Key Cycle
Network and is beyond the geographical and works scope, and the timescales
of the Safer Road Scheme itself.]

 

Further, there is a longer term aspiration to develop an off road,
multi-user route as part of the Key Cycle Network along the track bed of
the former Cromford and High Peak Railway between Buxton and Whaley
Bridge.  Again this is likely to be beyond the timescales of the Safer
Road Scheme and would overall, be beyond the constraints of the cost
benefit analysis now, due to timescales and increased cost of delivery. 
SRF would be used to pay for a feasibility study for some or all of the
route so we can have a better understanding of the issues and costs
involved, and timescales for deliverability. i.e. Subject to further
discussions with DfT part funding to facilitate delivery of this via SRF
may be achievable to support progression of the KCN, but this would be
beyond the planned timescales for the rest of the SRF Works.  Note that
the section from the top of Shallcross Incline on Shallcross Road and
Goyt’s Lane situated between Fernilee and Errwood Reservoirs would be a
particularly useful section to investigate in terms of providing a safe
route for non-motorised users, including people with pushchairs or on
mobility scooters in close proximity to the A5004.  A surfaced path
suitable for shared use already exists along a substantial length on the
east side of Fernilee Reservoir.

 

3) Interconnectivity for cyclists between the A5004 and existing /
improved parallel cycle routes is planned as part of the SRF Project
Works.  As discussed above, where there is sufficient width within
existing A5004 highway limits it is proposed that improvements for
cyclists will be provided, with the objective of delivering this
interconnectivity safely.  (But note, there is insufficient width within
current A5004 highway limits, to allow a safe continuous cycle route
adjacent to A5004 to be provided for much of the length of the A5004).

 

 

I hope this now satisfies your request.

 

However should you require a review of the response you have received to
your FOI/EIR request, please follow the procedure as set out below:-

 

Stage 1:

 

If you wish to challenge the response, please send your comments to, and
wherever possible, a copy of your request and the covering letter
enclosing the information or refusing your request to:

 

Access to Information Solicitor

Legal Services

Derbyshire County Council

County Hall

Matlock

DE4 3AG

 

Email: [3][Derbyshire County Council request email]

 

Stage 2:

 

After completing the above procedure, if you wish to challenge the
decision further, then you have a right to contact the Information
Commissioner’s Office as follows:

 

Information Commissioner's Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire SK9 5AF

         

Telephone: Tel: 0303 123 1113/Fax: 01625 524510

ICO Weblink: [4]https://ico.org.uk/make-a-complaint/

 

Should you have further questions or queries, please do not hesitate to
get in contact. 

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

Place / Access to Information / Derbyshire County Council

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

══════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════

Join thousands of local residents who receive regular county council news
direct to their inbox. Go to our [5]website and click on the Sign Up
button.

══════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════

Think before you print! Save energy and paper. Do you really need to print
this email?

Derbyshire County Council works to improve the lives of local people by
delivering high quality services. You can find out more about us by
visiting [6]www.derbyshire.gov.uk.
If you want to work for us go to our job pages on
[7]www.derbyshire.gov.uk/jobs. You can register for e-mail alerts,
download job packs and apply on-line.

══════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════

Please Note
This email is confidential, may be legally privileged and may contain
personal views that are not the views of Derbyshire County Council. It is
intended solely for the addressee. If this email was sent to you in error
please notify us by replying to the email. Once you have done this please
delete the email and do not disclose, copy, distribute, or rely on it.
Under the Data Protection Act 2018 and the Freedom of Information Act 2000
the contents of this email may be disclosed.
Any personal information you have given us will be processed in accordance
with our privacy notices, available at
[8]www.derbyshire.gov.uk/privacynotices.

Derbyshire County Council reserves the right to monitor both sent and
received emails.

══════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
2. https://www.buxtonadvertiser.co.uk/news/...)
3. mailto:[Derbyshire County Council request email]
4. https://ico.org.uk/make-a-complaint/
5. https://www.derbyshire.gov.uk/council/ne...
6. http://www.derbyshire.gov.uk/
7. http://www.derbyshire.gov.uk/jobs
8. http://www.derbyshire.gov.uk/privacynoti...

Dear Place FOI_EIR (Place),

Thank you for such a swift and useful response, I really appreciate it. Best of luck with the ongoing project.

Yours sincerely,

P. Puddles