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Local Cycling Projects


Pedal Peak District

Pedal Peak for business grants scheme

The Peak Park Authority are operating a grants scheme as part of the Pedal Peak for business initiative to support Derbyshire businesses to purchase fixed equipment to enable good quality experiences for all types of cyclists and stimulate the cycling economy. Find out more here:

Pedal Peak

Derbyshire County Council scheme including the White Peak Loop:

Pedal Peak II is an exciting £7.5 million project set up to improve cycling for leisure and day to day journeys. Four new cycle routes have been or are in the process of being created which will take cyclists and walkers into and through the Peak District National Park from the surrounding urban areas.


Derwent Valley Cycleway

News update: 'Campaign Ride for the Derwent Valley Cycleway Saturday 18th May 2019

to support / and put pressure on Derbyshire County Council to bid for money to create a safe off-highway cycle route from  Derby to Chatsworth alongside the river through the World Heritage Site (more detail below)


Experienced riders will cycle from Derby University (who are giving it their support) through Allestree, and on to the A6 up to Matlock. We hope to recruit up to 500 experienced riders, but for a leisurely ride, not a race!


There will also be an alternative ride for families and inexperienced riders from Rowsley down to Matlock on the new cycleway that has been created, thus highlighting that although families and general visitors can cycle down this short section, they are unable to cycle to any of the attractions in the World Heritage Site.


We intend to meet up at lunch time on the park at Matlock. We hope to organise a hog roast and a local pop group on the bandstand (do you know of one in Matlock that would welcome the exposure?). We’re hoping to attract a series of stands from cycle suppliers, shops etc to add interest.


We hope to have the TV and media there and are thinking of asking everyone to wear a silly hat. If not for the ride (optional) then in the park. With prizes for the silliest hats


The aim is to put pressure on Derbyshire County Council to bid for money to create a safe off-highway cycle route from  Derby to Chatsworth alongside the river through the world Heritage site (I believe you already receive email up dates from us, but in case these are not to hand see more detail below).


(The County Council support the Derwent Valley Cycleway in Principle, but currently see it as a low priority partly because it will be difficult to achieve. We want them to raise the priority and utilise the substantial volunteer team with a ride range of skills willing to help them deliver it)'

The Derwent Valley Cycleway is an aspirational project to create an off road cycleway between Derby and Baslow passing through the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site and linking a number of significant population centres including Derby, Duffield, Belper, Cromford, Matlock Bath and Matlock.

Look at any map of cycleways in Britain and at its heart is an obvious gap.

There is no safe route along the Derwent Valley from Derby to connect to the High Peak Trail at Cromford or the Monsal Trail north of Matlock.


This route traverses the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site which, as the cradle of the Industrial Revolution, changed the world. Set amidst breath-taking countryside it offers fascinating insights into industrial and social life during the 18th and 19th centuries. Snaking 15 miles down the river valley from Matlock Bath to Derby, the World Heritage Site contains a fascinating series of historic mill complexes, including some of the world’s first ‘modern’ factories. No less important are the watercourses that powered them, the settlements that were built for the mill workers and the remains of one of the world’s earliest railways – all nestling within a stunningly beautiful landscape that has changed little over two centuries.


The Derwent Valley Trust, the charity which established the Derwent Valley Heritage Way, a walking route along the valley, is trying to create a new cycleway.


The multi-user route is to be off-highway through its entire length, through the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site to Chatsworth, providing safe access for families to the various historic sites and visitor attractions, and beautiful countryside, without cycling up the relatively narrow, winding A6, intensely trafficked with Heavy Goods Vehicles.


Primarily a route for leisure and commuter cyclists, it will be accessible to all users, young and old, novice and experienced, and generally assist in encouraging people to use their cars less and be more active in accessing places without producing noise and fumes so they appreciate better the land they travel through.


The cycleway will provide a significant boost to the local tourist economy by linking the unique attractions in the World Heritage Site for day and longer term visitors to enjoy, supported by cafes and pubs, and hotels and Bed and Breakfasts along the route. This cycle route will not only be safe for leisure and commuter cyclists but also greatly improve access for the disabled.


By filling the gap in the existing national cycleway network, the Derwent Valley Cycleway would link with the cycle routes being developed to the north from Matlock to Chesterfield, and the White Peak Loop through the Peak District National Park to Buxton, and at the southern end, routes to Nottingham, Leicester and Birmingham.


Such dedicated cycleways alongside river arteries are common in Europe: for example, the Danube, Po, Rhine, Moselle and the Elbe. All these make a very significant contribution to the local economy with some businesses entirely dependent upon the cycle tourist for their livelihood.


Why the Derwent Valley?

The Derwent Valley's ‘Honeypot Attractions’ around Matlock, have a long history of attracting commerce related to spa tourism and scenic beauty (Matlock Bath was known as "Little Switzerland"). To this is now added the early mills which now attract visitors interested in industrial history (Cromford Mills, Cromford Wharf, Cromford Canal, Belper Mills, Milford Mills and Derby’s Silk Mill – site of the world's first factory) as well as providing retail and commercial floorspace for firms looking for attractive settings. The Derwent Valley is only at the beginning of developing and linking these attractions into a coherent set of employment and income generating opportunities. Interlinking these ‘honeypot attractions’ which are already often choked with cars and enabling new ones to develop at such places as Whatstandwell, Shining Cliff Woods (Forestry Commission ancient woodland), Ambergate, and Duffield Castle all need an alternative to purely car access.


Belper to Derby Journey to work area

Due to the busy A6, many commuters are currently deterred from using cycles from Derby, Milford and Duffield into Derby, even though a significant number of residents work in either Rolls Royce or Derby. The DVC would not only encourage more commuters to adopt a healthier more sustainable commute, but also relieve congestion, and thereby congestion on the A6


Current progress

We have been successful in bidding for funds as part of a wider proposal for cycling in Derby City, Super Connected and the OCOR project you have funded. This will create improved cycle connectivity alongside the river providing excellent commuting and tourism benefits linking the Silk Mill via Darley Park and Darley Fields, to Darley Abbey Mills, two of Derby’s most important heritage assets, on the northern edge of the city.


Once beyond the city boundary the route north, on the existing flood plain, to Duffield and Belper, would encourage commuters within the Derby Travel to Work area to use cycles instead of cars.



The route can be split into four phases

  1. Derby to Belper: the busy commuting route as well as leisure activity

  2. Matlock to Cromford: completing the White Peak Loop and accessing the original historic ‘honeypots’

  3. Belper to Cromford: accessing our natural as well as industrial heritage, enhancing biodiversity and uniting the link through the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site

  4. Rowsley via Chatsworth to Baslow: completing the link from Matlock to the County’s most famous attraction

The Derwent Valley Trust prepared a brief for the creation of the cycleway and tenders have now been received to undertake a feasibility study of the route and gain outline planning permission.


But before appointing the preferred bidder, Sustrans with Paul Jones Associates, the Trust needs to raise the £100,000 cost of the study. Funds are being sought from the County and City Councils and the Local Economic Partnership. we are prepared to raise a small proportion of funds as our contribution from Donations and Sponsorship


We applied to Highways England for support from their national communities fund in association with the works to improve the A38, and were successful in receiving £1.3m to extend the cycleway from Darley Abbey to Allestree/Little Eaton, and, if we can utilise the spare space on Networks Rail’s bridge over the Derwent, on to Duffield. (If we can achieve this we will enable pupils to cyclcle safely from Little Eaton to Ecclesbourne School in Duffield)


Our current support

So far our list of supporter organisations includes D2N2, the local District, Town and Parish Councils, Chatsworth, Haddon, DerwentWISE and the World Heritage Site.  Also, national organisations such as The National Cycling Charity, Sustrans, the Environment Agency and Severn Trent, and local companies, organisations and over 400 local individual supporters.



Cycleway Benefits


  • Strategic: It completes a missing link in the National Cycle Network recognised not just by Sustrans but also by the Government in its consideration of developing an HS2 related cycle network across central and northern England – described by their consultant as “The Jewel in the National Cycleway Network”

  • Economic: The benefits are estimated by Derby City Council as a multiplier of 4.8 : 1 (‘very good’) . The City commissioned a study in order to quantify these benefits, in the form of facilitating healthy commuting in the Belper to Derby “Travel to work" area, relieving congestion, increasing safety, reducing pollution, and encouraging national and international tourism.

  • Financial: We have gained the support of the current, and previous two, Cycling Ministers who have consistently said they would fund such a strategically important route, a view also supported by the LEP, D2N2.
    We are witnessing the higher levels of funding that the government are investing in cycleways nationally.  Bidding for funds for the DVC could help Derbyshire gain its share to support sustainable access to the valley

  • Commercial: A cycle route through the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site linking the attractions creates a world class experience, extending visitor stays and spend as proven by similar routes along key European rivers. Extending access into the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site, currently limited by the restriction of the A6, will enhance the development of potential attractions such as Belper Mills while reducing motor traffic.

  • Health: the benefits of cycling over car commuting are well documented. Because there are no safe alternative routes for cyclists along the valley, and the high number of residents in Duffield Milford and Belper that work in Derby at Rolls Royce Bombardier, Derby Royal Hospital and the University, the modal change to cycling, once a safe route is provided, is likely to be high.

  • Management: With the volunteer hours already invested in this project we are already well advanced in scoping the route and developing a detailed brief for the feasibility, potentially saving many hours of council officer time. We are happy to share all of our information with DCC to work with officers in a complementary manner to reduce the time they need to progress this proposal.

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