At the city council planning committee meeting on 15th February, the planning application to build a 3m wide multi-user path alongside the river in Darley Park was passed. It is believed the majority was 9 to 3 in favour of the path. That is great news for active travel in Derby and thanks to the great work by the council team who have developed a good plan, and to the 70% of planning application respondents (well over 80 in number) who supported the planning application and wrote to the planning committee to say so. Thank you if you were one of those people, you have made a real difference here with positive and well reasoned arguments.
Apart from the dire need for a path to assist those with mobility issues, certain disabilities, families with small children, buggies and so on, this will be a really important link in Derby’s cycle network. It adds to the overall permeability of this part of North Derby for cycle transport, and will create an obvious route for the start of the Derwent Valley Cycleway as that is developed in the future. Travelling from the Silk Mill, the obvious route is through Darley Abbey, to view Darley Abbey Mills from the prime vantage point over the river with it’s picturesque weirs. Having visited the mills and maybe bought something at one of the businesses there, you would then continue in the same direction further along the Derwent Valley World Heritage Site.
A major point that Derby Cycling Group made in mitigation of the objections to a path shared by pedestrians and cyclists is that there already exists such a path all along the river from Elvaston to Darley Park. This sharing of the path is nothing new, it is just an extension to a path which is already safely shared everyday by hundreds and hundreds of people on foot and on bikes.