|Location Map ( geo)|
|Distance:||8.2 miles (13.2 km)|
|Meets:||A6, A632, A61|
|Former Number(s):||A6, B6014, B6024, B6013, B5035|
|Old route now:||B6019, A38, B6023, B6033|
|Route outline (key)|
The A615, a short A-road in east Derbyshire, is quite interesting, having moved definitely westwards since its inception; and it's certainly scenic.
Matlock - Alfreton
We leave the A6 at the west end of the Derwent Way relief road in Matlock, head east across Crown Square and bear left past the old cinema and the boating lake (very reasonable prices) on what was once the B6014. A raise of one's gaze reveals the vast, fire-blackened neo-Gothic pile of Riber Castle (a ruin for many years but currently being converted into flats) looming down over the town from its great height on a hill overlooking the Derwent. Round a slight bend we then encounter a poorly-placed sign that just about suggests that the A632 might conceivably leave for Chesterfield to the left, up a steep hill that has done for any number of HGVs which have failed to brake in time. We however press on through the little village of Tansley (good views back over Matlock if we look in the mirror), and about a mile further on what is now left of the B6014 forks off towards Clay Cross (remember all those rebel councillors?). We continue upon the former B6024 up a steady incline to a plateau: the only thing that's been 'upgraded' around here is the road number, so we are essentially on a B-road, to all intents and purposes. To the right are the hamlets of Lea and Holloway, associated with Florence Nightingale.
Eventually we begin our descent into Wessington, which has a garage which used to have a sign reading "LAST PETROL BEFORE THE M1", with tiny letters at the bottom admitting 'this side' – but you couldn't see them, of course! South Wingfield, to the right, has a haunted manor house where the Babington Plot was hatched. Once over the River Amber, we climb a sudden, steep hill under the Derby-Sheffield main line to meet Roman Ryknield Street at a T junction at the top of the escarpment. We zig right and zag left, multiplexing briefly with the B6013 (which formerly had numerical priority). Now it's only a mile or so to Alfreton, which we enter by passing a Cheshire Home on the right. Our road ends at a fork onto the A61: left for the town centre and Chesterfield, right for the A38 and M1.
Original Author(s): Simon Mold
The A615 as it stands is rather pathetic covering only 8 or so miles between Matlock and Alfreton. For those who don't know, the road was not so pathetic in the past, however.
This road has suffered from many adjustments, and re-routes since it was created. When the A615 was first created, it ran from Alfreton (on the A61) to the A60 in Mansfield; in 1935 it was extended east along a previously unclassified road to meet the A611 (now the B6030). This eastern extension was renumbered B6033 in the 1960s as the A611 had been curtailed, and it was not sensible to keep this section as an 'A' road.
At this time, the current A615 was the A6 in Matlock itself, then the B6014 from Matlock to Tansley (this number still exists to the east of the village), then the B6024 as far as the B6013 and then the B5035 took the road as far as Alfreton and the A61. In the 1960s, the route was extended to reach Matlock, replacing the old B-roads. This is quite noticeable as this section hasn't been substantially upgraded since. The final extension along a short section of the A6 west of Crown Square in Matlock took place on the opening of the Derwent Way relief road in the 2000s.
Following the construction of the M1 in the 1960s the A615 was rerouted onto the new Alfreton southern bypass, which was built to provide easier access to the motorway at J28. The old road became the B6019. Then in 1977 the A38 was extended from Derby to meet up with the M1 at junction 28. This had the effect of replacing part of the A61 and also took over the recently built section of the A615 from Alfreton to the M1. The A615 therefore effectively multiplexed with the new A38 route for a few miles. This continued for a few years, until the Sutton in Ashfield bypass was built in the 1980s, triggering a wholesale renumbering in the Mansfield area. The old A615 disappeared in Nottinghamshire completely, with the A38 running to Mansfield along the new bypass (and a short section of the original A615) - the old road became the B6023.