The Derwent Valley Cycleway is an aspirational project to create an off road cycleway between Derby and Matlock (approx 19.5 miles) following the course of the River Derwent as closely as possible. The whole of the cycleway falls within the Derwent Valley World Heritage Site and links a number of significant population centres including Derby, Duffield, Belper, Cromford, Matlock Bath and Matlock.
At present there is an obvious gap in the National Cycle Network that the proposed cycleway will address. Commuting into Derby from the north by cycle is not currently attractive and it is expected that the proposed cycleway will encourage increased cycle commuting.
The objective of the working group is to bring together individuals and groups with an interest in establishing a safe and family friendly, off road, multi-user cycle route from Matlock to Derby linking the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Sites.
The group aim access to include wheelchair users and, on certain sections, where more appropriate routes cannot be made available, horseriders and walkers.
The cycleway will provide an alternative route to the currently heavily used A6 which, in many places is not suitable for cycling and is particularly unattractive for family and less confident cyclists. The design goal for the cycleway is for it to be suitable for use by an 8 year old. Providing such a route would greatly increase cycle and walking traffic as well as taking the existing traffic away from the busy roads and thus reducing injuries and fatalities.
The Trust has continued to develop the Derwent Valley Heritage Way by means of promotion and supporting interpretation. The Trust also formulates plans to provide a Cycleway, providing level accessibility for all users, along the Derwent Valley in accordance with its object to develop an integrated network of facilities to assist the public in understanding the area of benefit.