The Long Promised Ashbourne By-pass - A Short History
By Peter Dobbs
Ashbourne does in fact already have a bypass - taking the A52 around the South of the town and currently being used by over 9,000 vehicles per day, according to the data on AADT (Annual Average Daily Traffic) published by Aecom in a study commissioned by Derbyshire County Council.
Unfortunately they failed to extend it to relieve the traffic that currently uses the A515 to travel from north to south through the town's narrow streets, currently seeing approximately 7,000 vehicles a day, of which 10% are HGV.
For many years residents have been urging local politicians to 'do something about it' and below is an outline of what has been proposed during the past decade;
2010 DCC Commission a Feasibility Sudy - EX12 here
This is the source of the maps that have been published over the last decade showing possible western routes for the by-pass.
2018 DCC Commission a Transport Study - here
This focussed on the economic costs of delay due to congestion in Ashbourne. Pedestrian safety and air pollution were not assessed - perhaps because the 'cost' of these is harder to monetise. There is data in the appendices found here. Note the re-use of maps from the 2010 study in appendix U. (Aecom took over Scott Wilson so they were able to recycle their work).
2020 Ashbourne Traffic Options - Public Consultation - here
Although it is 'nice to be asked' this does seem to be an oddly timed consultatiion, since amongst other questions, it asks us to say if we really want a by-pass at all. This rather begs the question as to exactly what various local politicians have been calling for over the years!
Again the fact that Ashbourne already has illegal levels of air pollution, see for example here, is not mentioned. Perhaps DCC feels that acknowledging this would mean it had to take action on air pollution NOW and not wait for a bypass to be built some years in the future.
2020 Ashbourne Town Team Traffic Mitigation Discussion - here with drawings of junction layouts and possible traffic solutions.
This is the work of local residents with significant experience of civil engineering projects who got tired of waiting for one of the three Councils that govern Ashbourne to take the initiative.
2020 Green4Architects Speculative Proposal - here A timely reminder of what often happens when a new by-pass opens up the potential for new housing. This is a purely 'kite flying' exercise by a team of architects using one of the possible by-pass routes of the 2010 Feasibility Study.