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Strava data demonstrates the need for the Cycleway

Strava is a website and mobile app used to track athletic activity with a particular focus on cycling. Cyclists can make use of various GPS devices (including their smart phones) to track their cycle routes with additional information calculated such as average speed, etc.

The routes recorded by users are uploaded to Strava’s website and are used to compare times for particular routes with other athletes. The app is used by serious athletes and by commuting and leisure cyclists.

With the data available on the Strava website, it is possible to aggregate the routes to explore the most commonly used routes in a particular area. This information has been made freely available here.  Lines are drawn to show the number of journeys on each route with red showing the most heavily used roads with blue showing less used routes (zoom in to see detail). The intensity of the red colour gives an indication of the number of cyclists with the most red being the most heavily used routes.

The 2017 release of data (restricted to include cyclists only) has been used to create the map showing how cyclists along the Derwent Valley are forced to use the A6 between Belper and Derby due to the lack of suitable alternatives.It is obvious that north south cycling journeys need to use the A6 with occasional usage of routes such as Duffield Bank/Eaton Bank (which are also unsuitable routes due to their narrowness).

In comparison, the second map shows the excellent Riverside path from Derby past Pride Park to Raynesway and the A6 south of Derby. It can be seen that, with the provision of a suitable route for cyclists, a large amount of the cycle traffic that previously used the road (e.g. A6) can be transferred to the traffic free route (e.g. Riverside path).

It is clear that the provision of a route of similar quality to the Riverside path north of Derby would allow for most of the cycle traffic on the A6 to migrate to the new, much more suitable traffic free route (i.e. the proposed Derwent Valley Cycleway).

Whilst the results are compelling, the actual requirement for the Derwent Valley Cycleway is probably even more clear as the Strava data only includes information on trips actually taken by cyclists using the Strava app.  Therefore, no data is collected on cyclists who would have wished to undertake a particular trip by bike but were prevented from doing so by, for instance, the level of traffic on the available routes.

The Strava app tends to be used by more frequent and sporting cyclists so those cyclists making occasional leisure trips may not be represented in the data. Including these riders would further strengthen the message.

Article about the Cycleway

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.

Continue reading “Article about the Cycleway”

Your chance to shape Derbyshire’s cycle network plans

Derbyshire County Council are offering the opportunity to help shape what the cycle network in Derbyshire should look like as Derbyshire Council and Active Derbyshire work towards their goal of making Derbyshire the most connected county for cycling in England by 2030.

The current suggested network map can be seen here. All the suggested projects would be welcomed but it would be useful if you could review the map and then make your comments as to how the Derwent Valley Cycleway would be the most useful project.

Continue reading “Your chance to shape Derbyshire’s cycle network plans”

Darley Park multi-user path

Existing muddy route to be replaced with proper surface

Derby City Council have submitted a planning application for the building of a multi-user path through Darley Park from near the Abbey Inn to the rowing clubs by Handyside Bridge. The Derwent Valley Cycleway project is strongly in favour of the creation of this path (which forms part of the proposed cycleway route) and are asking all our supporters to register their personal support for the plans.

The application is open for comments (until 26th September – note the deadline has been extended) and it is important that people supporting the plans register their comments. The Council have already held consultation events and well over 90% of the respondents were in favour of the plans. However, when similar plans were submitted a number of years ago, a very small but vocal minority managed to get the ear of the planning committee and have the plans voted down. We don’t want this to happen again!

It is important that the Council decision makers can see the overwhelming level of support for the creation of the path.

Features of the route include:

  • Well designed route screened by existing hedges to avoid any impact on the landscape.
  • Sympathetic surface colouring to blend in with the landscape.
  • Provision of a flat route for all kinds of users including those with disabilities, families, dog walkers, cyclists and pedestrians.
  • Links well with the route through Darley Fields providing a circular route for young cyclists, pedestrians or disability vehicles.
  • Opportunity to provide increased custom to existing cafes in Darley Park and at the rowing club (The Duck House) as well as providing a scenic and well surfaced route from the City to the Abbey Inn.

To provide your comments please visit the Derby City Planning site and search for application number 05/17/00567.  To submit a comment you need to register on the planning site and then login. You can make a simple comment of Object / Support / Neutral and can also add optional comments on the reasons for your support. Alternatively, you can submit letters of support by post.

Remember comments need to be submitted before 26th September.

The Darley Abbey Society has registered their objection to the plans and have mobilised a number of their contacts to also submit objections.

Please make the time for submitting your comments so that the overwhelming level of support for the path is visible to all the decision makers.

Swaledale Cycle route work starts

Work has started on a family friendly cycle route along the valley bottom of Swaledale – a total length of about 12 miles of which about 75% will be traffic free.

Whilst this is an easier project than the Derwent Valley Cycleway (all the route already existed as bridleway or road so there are no land access or other legal issues) it is great to see a project with similar goals coming to fruition.

More information on the Swale Dale route here.

Further publicity for the Belper tube map in Nailed Belper

The recent updates to the Belper cycle quality tube map, including the addition of the proposed Derwent Valley Cycleway to the map, have been publicised in the Nailed – alternative Belper news – website.

The Derwent Valley Cycleway addition demonstrates how the existing poor provision for cycling in the Belper area can be greatly improved for north/south journeys by allowing cyclists to bypass the very poor route on the A6.

The Nailed article can be seen here.

Latest updates to the map can be downloaded from here.

Belper Tube map headline news in Belper News!

The recently released Belper Cycle Quality tube map is this week’s feature story in the Belper News.

More details on the tube map can be found by visiting this link.

The Belper News article can be found here.

The map clearly shows the current poor provision for cycling in the Belper area and makes the case for the Derwent Valley Cycleway which would greatly improve the north-south connections.


Derwent Valley Heritage Site 15 year celebration

The Derwent Valley Trust attended the recent celebration of 15 years of the Derwent Valley world heritage site held at Strutts in Belper. There was a steady stream of people discussing the cycleway and the Heritage Way walking route with us and we collected a number of names of people asking to be kept informed of progress on the cycleway.

Derby Cycle Quality map

The Derby Cycling Group (a supporter of the Derwent Valley Cycleway) have published a “tube” map showing the quality of existing cycle routes in the Derby area.

The latest version of the map can be found at

Of particular interest to the Derwent Valley Cycleway is the obvious lack of adequate cycling provision in the north of the city and to Belper (red ratings). The Derwent Valley Cycleway will provide a high quality route linking Belper to Derby and change the ratings on the map to blue.