Thanks to Steve Adams for the following article about “The Derwent Valley Cycleway”.
We are so lucky to live in the Derwent Valley. We have beautiful scenery on our doorstep, a wealth of fascinating historical features, and excellent public transport. So why do we need a cycleway in the Derwent Valley?
Actually the more appropriate question is: why isn’t there one already? The Derwent Valley is a much used tourist area, close to population centres in all directions. The valley from Cromford southwards is a World Heritage Site incorporating the mills at Cromford, Belper, Milford and Derby, which were of major significance in the birth of the industrial revolution. The valley is wide enough to accommodate the Cromford canal, the railway line from Derby to Matlock, and the A6 trunk road, as well as the river itself, and there is still sufficient space for a cycleway.
The Derwent Valley already attracts cycling clubs and sports cyclists, who can be found speeding along the A6 or enjoying hill climbing on lanes up the valley sides. What the valley does not cater for is the occasional cyclist at one extreme and the commuter cyclist at the other, nor is it a safe or appealing route for cycling families. If the number and range of cyclists could be increased, it would open up all sorts of commercial opportunities to support the tourist demand, like bed and breakfast, cafés, and bike hire. The many tourist attractions would benefit too by increased numbers of visitors and less congestion from motor vehicles.