Comment on the Derbyshire cycle network plans

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:

  1. An extension of the existing Great Northern Greenway to link with Ilkeston
  2. Conversion of the existing railway track of the Little Eaton Branch Line from Little Eaton to join with the Ripley Greenway
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

2 thoughts on “Comment on the Derbyshire cycle network plans”

  1. The official response from the DCG to the consultation was:
    Derby Cycling Group is a volunteer led group in the Derby area campaigning for improved cycle provision and advocating cycling as everyday transport.

    We welcome the Derbyshire Key Cycle Network Strategy process and all the suggested routes would be welcomed as improvements to the existing Derbyshire cycling environment. We have identified the routes below as those which we are particularly interested in because they connect Derby with many communities not served by cycle routes today and with the wider, existing, Derbyshire cycle network.

    1. An extension of the existing Great Northern Greenway to link with Ilkeston
    2. Conversion of the existing railway track of the Little Eaton Branch Line from Little Eaton to join with the Ripley Greenway
    3. 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.
    4. A link from Derby to Ashbourne following the course of the A52.

    Whilst the Derby to Ashbourne link would be welcome in the long term, the connection between Derby and Ashbourne is already provided by NCN routes 54 and 68 making use of country lanes. Therefore we feel this would be the lowest priority for the routes listed above.

    We believe that the other routes to the north of Derby are most important and should be prioritised by Derbyshire Council. Previous investment in cycling in Derbyshire has concentrated on areas other than Derby (e.g. Chesterfield and the White Peak Loop) and it is time that focus moved to connecting Derby to the rest of Derbyshire north of the city.

    We have focussed on connections to the north/north east of Derby because this is where existing cycle routes are most lacking, especially when compared to connections to the east (the excellent Riverside Path to Elvaston Castle and towards Long Eaton) and south (canal path and railway path to Melbourne). To the north, cyclists currently have to use the generally unsuitable A6, A609 and B6179 roads, which discourages new or inexperienced cyclists.

    We believe the routes connecting Derby to the north 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 poor to the north.
    Making a positive impact on traffic congestion and air quality issues, particularly in Derby, as more people are encouraged to consider safe cycling as an alternative to using cars. The greatest opportunity for influencing commuting behaviour in favour of cycling is within the Derby travel-to-work-area which, certainly to the north of the city, is currently poorly served by cycle routes. Encouraging more cycling and providing attractive traffic free routes will have the impact of reducing congestion and pollution.
    Health benefits as more people become more active more often. 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 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 World Heritage Site. This will lead to the growth of tourist-related businesses (e.g. cafes, accommodation, retail and leisure companies) needed to meet the demand.

    On a specific point of the proposed network, the Little Eaton to Darley Abbey link has particular benefits:
    As it is part of both the Little Eaton Branch Line route and the Derwent Valley Cycleway it allows for an additional, alternative route from the currently unsuitable pavement alongside the A61 Alfreton Road, utilising an existing track across the fields on the east bank of the River Derwent.
    It complements plans from Highways England for changes to the underpass at the end of Ford Lane as part of the Little Eaton flyover works.

    We would welcome the chance to explore options in more detail. Please do not hesitate to contact us for feedback on detailed proposals or for clarification of any of the above points.

    To summarise, we welcome all the planned routes on the strategic plan but believe that routes to the immediate north of Derby should be the highest priority for the reasons listed above.

  2. I would love to see the extension of the existing Great Northern Greenway to link with Ilkeston! The Derby Road road between Stanley and Oakwood is particularly dangerous for cyclists and having a safe route to commute on would be a huge benefit

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