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.
We are delighted to announce that the Derby Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Royal Derby Hospital and other health services in the city, is enthusiastically endorsing our Space for Cycling campaign, supporting our aims to get better cycling routes and facilities across Derby to enable more people to choose to make everyday journeys by bike.
We are very grateful that our local NHS Trust recognises the benefits that Space for Cycling can bring and for Chief Executive, Gavin Boyle’s supporting comments: “Hundreds of our staff cycle to work in our hospitals each day, and it’s important that we have the proper infrastructure to support that. As a cyclist myself I know the roads in Derby can be a little scary when you’re out on your bike, so improvements to the network would be very welcome indeed. Let’s make it easier for everyone to get on their bike to travel around our city, rather than see them discouraged because they feel unwelcome on the roads.”
The Carbon and Sustainability Group at the Trust enthusiatically endorsed our campaign when it was presented to them by Andrea Shaw from their travel planning team. The Chief Executive, Gavin Boyle, uses a mixed-mode transport to get to work: bike-train-bike, so his sustainable travel credentials are high; his Brompton was tucked neatly in the corner of his office on a cold and frosty morning at the end of December, when he kindly met Ian Dent and myself to hear about the Space for Cycling campaign. We look forward to working with the NHS Trust and the City Council in the future to create more space for cycling in Derby and enable more people to get more healthy by making more everyday journeys by bike.
Exercise helps mental wellbeing as well as physical health so cycling can be an integral part of a rounded, healthy, life style. However, many people are too frightened to ride a bike on the road. We need better quality facilities to help cyclists feel safe enough to get about. Our Space for Cycling campaign urges city councillors to give cycle transport a higher priority and make policies which enable a proper cycle network to be created in Derby, one which is joined up and enables anyone to cycle anywhere more safely across the city. The support of our local NHS Trust is important to us for raising the profile of active travel with our councillors.
It is our very great pleasure to announce that Martin Rawson, the deputy leader of Derby City council has signed our Space for Cycling pledge – agreeing with us that more needs to be done to improve cycle transport in the city. Derby is a city which is very much suited to cycling and very many more people would cycle if the cycle network was more connected and of a better quality. At the moment it is unfortunate that too many people say and believe it is too dangerous to cycle on the road. At DCG we don’t believe this is true, but the road often feels like a hostile place, especially to inexperienced riders or to people considering whether to start cycling and that stops people cycling.
We look forward to working with Martin to help make things better for everyone who wants to make everyday journeys by bike. Our aim is to get full, cross-party, support for our Space for Cycling campaign. So far UKIP, Liberal Democrat and Labour members have signed our pledge. We look forward to Conservative members joining them and completing the picture so we can start developing new strategies and projects with the certainty that they will have long term political support.
I would like to say a huge thank you to the 60 or so people who came out in Derby today to show their support for Derby Cycling Group’s campaign to make the city a better place by creating more space for cycling. Some of those people you can see here.
Thank you too to the hundreds of facebook shares and thousands of tweets which have spread the word of our quest far and wide.
Thank you to the ride organisers: Daryl, Andrea and Dave who I know about with Ian D managing the backroom work, and all our support riders on the day.
Finally, thank you too to the people of Derby who were out in town today and waved to us as we passed by; I think the disruption was minimal but our apologies for anybody who was inconveienced by our procession through the town.
As Paul Hilditch has commented on the Facebook Event: it was great to see such a diverse range of people on the ride: young and old, women and men, people in everyday clothes and one or two MAMILS for good measure; we all cycle; we share the same issues and we share our love of cycling.
Please stay with us and encourage more to join in our campaign as we take Derby’s Space for Cycling to the next level.
Please read what we have said, and what we have asked councillors to pledge support for. Alan Graves from UKIP and Ruth Skelton from the Liberal Democrats have signed our pledge; thank you very much to both of them.
We would like Matthew Holmes from the Conservatives and Ranjit Banwait from Labour to do the same. We would like a cross party consensus to take cycle transport in Derby to a new level.
Derby City Council Liberal Democrat leader, Councillor Ruth Skelton, has signed the Derby Cycling Group Space for Cycling pledge. She has also been joined by her councillor colleagues, Mike Carr and Lucy Care. They signed our pledge at the last of our Council Leaders meetings. We are of course delighted that Ruth and her colleagues have signed our pledge, and look forward to working with them in the future to develop a good cycle strategy for the city leading towards the creation of a fuly integrated cycle network enabling anyone to cycle anywhere in the city at any time. For more information about our Space for Cycling campaign, link to our Space for Cycling Bulletin Board
We will publicise your support and you can talk to us about ways to help develop cycle transport in your ward and more widely across Derby.
We look forward to hearing from, and speaking to, as many councillors as possible.
Why the Space for Cycling campaign?
Derby Cycling Group has had enough of new projects and city council departments failing to deliver even the most basic facilities for cyclists. Our Space for Cycling campaign wants to get Derby City Councillors to recognise…
The benefits that cycling can bring to Derby and it’s citizens,
That much more must be done to make cycling a really attractive means of transport for everyone in the city
To create policies that will deliver a cycle network worthy of the name.
To get the city council to deliver real changes to enable more people to cycle more often and more safely
Letters Derby Cycling Group have written to city councillors: Unless you are a new councillor since May 2016, you know what we want and why:
PRESENTATION to PARTY LEADERS: We invited the leaders of the four political parties on Derby City Council to face to face meetings with us so we could present to them the issues facing cyclists in Derby, how we think these can be overcome and the benefits for councillors from supporting our campaign. See for yourself what we said by watching the Council Leaders Presentation (unfortunately only Powerpoint).
We asked the leaders to sign our Space for Cycling Pledge . What happened? To see councillor’s responses to our campaign, look at the Current Political Response
Matthew Holmes and Ranjit Banwait – both regular, everyday, urban cyclists – have not pledged their support for better conditions for cycle transport; why are they not supporting Space for Cycling? We look forward to you and all other city councillors taking up the challenge to make the council and the city a genuinely cycle friendly place to live and work.
Campaigning for cycle provision in Derby since 1979