High Peak MP Ruth George has urged Derbyshire County Council to speed up the Chapel roadworks after a 2-week delay was announced, and to part- open Sheffield Road as soon as possible.
The Council started work on a £750,000 project to mend the culvert on Sheffield Road in May, with the aim of completing the works by the end of October.
Diversions around Chapel because of the roadworks have affected trade in the town, with many shopkeepers saying business has declined sharply.
In its latest update the Council says work on site was affected by poor weather conditions. Heavy rain led to localised flooding in the area forcing them to temporary stop work on site. In addition some workers were called away to help with the Toddbrook Dam emergency.
Ruth said, “Whilst all of us can understand the problems this summer caused by the weather, the Council need to appreciate the damaging effect of the road’s closure on local businesses and make sure they’re doing all they can to complete this work quickly.
“Traders are hanging on in Chapel, trying their best to keep going. They have taken a hit this summer and desperately need to be able to do well in the run-up to Christmas, but that’s going to be very difficult if the road is still closed.
“When I raised these problems at the start of the work, I was told that all resources were being put in to its early completion, that the schedule to finish in November was a ‘worst case’ scenario and that they would look to open one lane of Sheffield Road so traffic could travel in both directions on traffic lights.
“Now we’ve seen that worst case scenario being extended, and doubt that they can open any part of the road until all works are completed.
“I’ve urged the Council to look again at what they can do to support businesses – signs around the diversion are still inadequate and alternatives to help access, such as the temporary reopening of Hayfield Road as two-way, have been dismissed.
“The Council needs to appreciate the level of disruption this causes to businesses and people’s lives, which will get much worse when the schools go back next week, and do all they can to make up the time that was lost, and get the road open.”