All posts by Les Sims

Road Safety Improvements at Littleover

PH2 PH1For many years, Pastures Hill at Littleover has been a dangerous place for cyclists, having a series of bollards along the centre of the road coupled with a 40 mph speed limit.  The bollards were pinch points where cyclists were put in danger by impatient car drivers overtaking them at the bollards.

To their credit Derby City Council have made a major contribution to Road Safety by removing the bollards, which has given greater road width. The increased road width has allowed the introduction of a 1 m wide cycle lane on the West side of the road and the speed limit is reduced from 40 mph to 30 mph.

We should see more cyclists using this road from now on.

Where to cycle?

With longer days and warmer weather in prospect you will be keen to get out on your bike, but where to go?

Check out “Two Wheels and a Camera” for details of local (mainly off-road) rides and also some further afield which are but a short train ride away.  You bike goes for free on the train and fares are sometimes surprisingly inexpensive if you book ahead and have one of the many Railcards.

Click HERE to access the Blog.


Watch this video






Chris Boardman is a great ambassador for cycling, and his video on cycling in the Netherlands shows what can be done for cycling when politicians can be persuaded to see the benefits of making the local infrastructure more suitable for sustainable transport.

Click HERE to see it.

Sorry about the preceding commercial.

The Monsal Trail

MoT11AIf you haven’t yet discovered the Monsal Trail in the Derbyshire Dales then you have a treat in store.

Click HERE to see exactly where it is,  how to get there,  and see a slideshow of what it looks like.

“Two Wheels and a Camera” ( also shows lots of places for good off-road cycling in Derbyshire and further afield.

Out on the Towpath

Now that we have some warmer weather and longer hours of daylight in prospect it’s time to get out on our bikes, and to get away from the traffic, the fumes and the noise, what better place than the tranquility of our local canal towpaths.

We are lucky to have the Trent and Mersey Canal just a few miles South of Derby and it’s towpath is accessible from Sinfin, Chellaston, Stenson, Findern and Wllington.  The best route out of Derby would normally be to follow the Riverside Path (NCN 6) through Alavston Park, but due to the construction of a new road between Sinfin and Chellaston there is a temporary closure of the approach path close to Swarkestone. The new road is crossing Sinfin Moor Lane and  the area will become the new Infinity Business Park eventually.  Diversions are signed through the Chellaston housing complex.

The quality of canal towpaths can vary considerably but from Swarkeston to Weston-upon-Trent it is good in all weathers, but from Swarkstone to Stenson is not surfaced and therefore not recommended in wet conditions.   Willington to Stenson via Findern is quite good enough.

At Weston you can leave the canal, cross the River Trent and cycle all the way into Leicestershire without traffic or any serious hills.

Stenson is a good place for food and drinks.  The cafe in the old lock keeper’s cottage closes at 5pm, but the Bubble Inn is open normal pub hours.

When you need a rest, stop at one of the locks and do a little gongoozelling.  Gongoozellors are folk who hang around watching the boaters work their way through the locks.

The Breadsall Greenway

Work is now complete on the construction of a further extension to the greenway, which is Route 672 of the NCN.
See it on video  or via my blog “Two Wheels and a Camera” at

You can ride almost all the way off-road from Derby City Centre, via Pentagon Island (Toucan crossings), and Racecourse Park, picking up the Breadsall Greenway alongside the Paddock PH on the A608.

The Breadsall Greenway is one of our most scenic local off-road routes, under 3 miles long, and has a few gradients but well worth the effort.

Down by the River ……………….

Derby City Council have started work on some improvements to the cycle path between the Silk Mill and Darley  Fields, this being part of Route 54 of the National Cycle Network and is on both sides of Handyside’s Bridge which crosses the River Derwent. From there, the narrow path which runs along the river bank beside Parker’s Piece, off City Road, is being widened and re-surfaced. New tarmac is being laid on the other side of the bridge and the board walk which passes beneath St. Mary’s Bridge is being replaced. See photo. We have asked for the graffiti on the bridge to be cleaned off.  Whilst the work is in progress an alternative route using Sowter Road is available and this has been signed.



A New Barrier

At Shelton Lock a new school is being built, and an access road has been constructed crossing the nearby Cycle Path.
The photograph was taken on NCN Route 6 between Alvaston
and Shelton Lock, looking towards Derby, with the school to the right and
Jubilee Road to the left.
There is  a man controlling the gate, which prohibits the passage of  pedestrians and cycles when there is motor traffic on the access road.
The gate is left open outside working hours.
Completion of the school is due in September 2012 and both the gate and the access road will then be removed.