The Derwent Valley Cycleway is a project to create an off road cycleway between Derby and Chatsworth following the course of the River Derwent as closely as possible. A lot 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 Sustrans National Cycle Network that the proposed cycleway will address. Commuting into Derby from the north by cycle is not currently attractive and the proposed cycleway will encourage increased cycle commuting.
The aim is to provide access to wheelchair users and, on certain sections, where more appropriate routes cannot be made available, horse riders 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 unaccompanied 12 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.