Darley Park Multi User Path – APPROVED

The mud will be history

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.

Manchester vision for cycling recommended as Christmas reading

Manchester’s Cycling and Walking Commissioner (Chris Boardman) has published his thoughts on what is needed to transform Manchester’s cycling and walking environment. As someone who generally talks a lot of sense (i.e. I agree with most of what he says!) Chris’ report is worth a read.

Download the report here. Only 17 pages with lots of pictures and graphs.

Amongst the quotes from Chris Boardman are,

“For too long our town and city streets have been designed around motorised vehicles, leaving them unsafe, unattractive and difficult to navigate on foot or by bike.

[The world’s happiest countries] prioritise walking and cycling
above all other modes of transport. But the fact is that people will only travel this way if it is easy and pleasant. Riding a bicycle or crossing a street should not require bravery.

We need protected space; uninterrupted, all the way from where
I am to where I want to be. Only with safe and attractive space will people that don’t walk or cycle now, venture out onto the road in significant numbers.”

The report is aimed at Manchester only but Derby could learn a lot from the approach. A lot of the proposed solutions for Manchester are also what are needed in other cities including Derby.

Happy reading over the holidays!

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. Continue reading Comment on the Derbyshire cycle network plans

Campaigning for cycle provision in Derby since 1979