You have the opportunity to influence the extent and shape of the cycle network in Derbyshire as Derbyshire Council and Active Derbyshire work towards their goal of making Derbyshire the most connected county for cycling in England.
Councils around the country are currently defining what they would like their local cycle network to look like if money was no object. They then move onto examining which of the possible projects should be addressed as a high priority.
Derbyshire County Council are nearing the end of the first stage and are asking the public to comment on their plans. They have defined a possible future network and are asking people to comment and to give opinions on which portions of the network are most important.
The current suggested network map can be seen here (large file for download). All the projects would be welcomed but it would be very useful if you could review the map and then make your comments (at the same link) as to how the routes close to Derby would be most useful.
From a Derby point of view, there are 4 significant projects detailed on the map. These are:
- An extension of the existing Great Northern Greenway to link with Ilkeston
- Conversion of the existing railway track of the Little Eaton Branch Line from Little Eaton to join with the Ripley Greenway
- The Derwent Valley Cycleway following the course of the river between Derby and Matlock via Belper and Cromford and linking with the White Peak Loop.
- A link from Derby to Ashbourne following the course of the A52.
We believe that the routes to the north of Derby are most important and should be prioritised by Derbyshire Council. Your comments to the council to support this view would be most welcomed.
Connections from Derby to the north and north east are sadly lacking especially when compared to connections to the east (the excellent Riverside path) and south (canal path and railway path to Melbourne) and cyclists have to currently use the generally unsuitable A6, A609 and B6179 roads which discourages inexperienced cyclists.
Previous investment in cycling in Derbyshire has concentrated on areas other than near Derby (e.g. Chesterfield and the White Peak Loop) and it is time the focus moved to connecting Derby to the rest of Derbyshire north of the city.
The council will be assessing the possible projects using the criteria of:
Strategic – How well the project supports local and national policies and priorities.
Economic – The project’s value for money based upon a comparison of a project’s estimated costs and its benefits.
Finance – Consideration of all resources required, including ongoing maintenance, and the source of these.
Commercial – for example, the creation of new businesses (such as cycle hire, food and drink or accommodation providers).
Management – How delivery of the project would be organised.
We believe the routes connecting Derby to the north will score highly on these points as the routes, once built, will provide benefits including:
- Filling in obvious gaps in the National Cycle Network. The network is good to the east and south of Derby but non existent to the north.
- A positive impact on traffic congestion and air quality issues in Derby as more people are encouraged to consider safe cycling as an alternative to using cars.
- Health benefits as people become more active. In addition, fewer serious cycle accidents are expected as riders make use of well constructed traffic free routes.
- The ability to link with existing railway lines to provide for combined cycle / rail commuting.
- Attracting more local, national and international visitors to the area to try out the cycle touring possibilities and to visit the attractions to the north of Derby, particularly in the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site. This will lead to the growth of related businesses (e.g. cafes, B&Bs, holiday companies) needed to meet the demand.
Please find the time to review the possible projects and to make your comments well before the deadline of the 24th January 2018. Visit this link to make comments.