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County Rider offers free cycle training

When discussing the Derwent Valley Cycleway with people, we often hear that more people would like to cycle but don’t have the confidence or experience to cycle on the existing roads. Building the Derwent Valley Cycleway will greatly help people get out on their bikes but in the meantime, Derbyshire County Council offer the County Rider scheme that provides 1:1 training for all types of riders (from the inexperienced to expert). Most people taking up the offer will be new or inexperienced riders who need help to build up their skills and confidence.

Free to people who live, work or study in Derbyshire. See this link for more details and to apply. I’d suggest doing this sooner rather than later as this is the kind of initiative that is increasingly being cut as funds become tighter.

Joseph Wright paintings of views from proposed path

Wright1Derby Museums have recently been successful in adding two paintings by Joseph Wright to their collection. These show views of the Derwent Valley (Masson Mill and Willersley Castle) that will be visible from the proposed Derwent Valley Cycleway.

The paintings can be viewed at Derby Museum Looking forward to seeing the same views from the cycleway as the project proceeds.

New DfT Study on the Benefits of Cycling

The Department for Transport have published a new study examining the various different benefits that cycling can provide.

The review found that existing methods of appraisal do not incorporate the full extent of economic benefits associated with cycling. The review found these potential benefits:

  • economic growth can result from high density, cycle friendly urban design
  • reduced infrastructure maintenance costs
  • cycle parking allows 5 times more retail spend than the same space for car parking
  • cycle friendly neighbourhoods can have greater retail spend

The study can be found here

New Cycle route north of Matlock

Derbyshire County Council are making good progress in constructing the multi-user path north of Matlock that will connect the Derwent Valley Cycleway with the Monsal Trail.

Those who enjoyed the “slow TV” season recently on TV (reindeer herding, canal boat sailing) should visit Les Sims’ video of the route which can be found here and which shows the route from Churchtown to Rowsley.

Derbyshire Cycling Plan launch at Derby Arena

The Derwent Valley Cycleway group are attending and exhibiting at the launch of the Derbyshire Cycling Plan at Derby Arena on Tuesday 19th January. If you are there please come along and say hello.

A report on the event in the Derby Telegraph

The plan

Excellent goal in the plan of “Derbyshire to be the most connected cycling county”. It’s our view that, for this to be successful, one of the projects that must be supported is the Derwent Valley Cycleway.

Evidence of heavy cycle use of A6

Strava have analysed the data from all their users up until May 2015 and have created a “heat map” showing the most heavily used routes for cycling. This shows the current need for cyclists between Derby and Matlock to use the A6 as no suitable alternative routes are available.

Strava doesn’t represent all types of cyclists and can only show journeys actually made (so misses all those who would have made journeys if the Derwent Valley Cycleway was in place). However, it is a useful additional indicator of the need for an alternative to the A6.

The Strava heat map can be found here. Red shows the most heavily used cycle routes with yellow and green showing less usage.

Lobbying Parliament

2015-12-03 14.56.48In December, a delegation from the Cycleway working group visited Parliament to inform the cycling minister, Robert Goodwill, and the Department of Transport, about the Cycleway project and the benefits that would accrue from building the route.

Pictured are Ian Dent, John Grimshaw, Pauline Latham, Derek Latham and Ian Scott.

Thanks are due to Pauline Latham for organising and hosting the meeting.

The minister and his colleagues seemed interested in the project – now to wait to see if the desired results (support and funding) materialise.

Examples of currently inadequate provision for cyclists

The following images show the current situation at places along the Derwent Valley where, until the Derwent Valley Cycleway is in place, cyclists are forced to experience inadequate or dangerous traffic situations.

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2015-10-26 13.14.232015-10-26 14.24.00The A61 Sir Frank Whittle Way leading from Derby to Little Eaton has the narrow footpath alongside the high speed road designated as National Cycle Route 54. The pictures demonstrate how the path is too narrow to pass pedestrians or other cyclists and also shows the high speed, heavy, traffic passing within inches of users of the route.

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Through Duffield the only route for cyclists is on the A6 which is a major road and bus route. The picture shows the lack of room for a cyclist on the road. In the centre of Duffield there is kerbside parking which further reduces the space for cyclists.

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The A6 through Belper is also very narrow and provides inadequate space for the (sometimes heavy) traffic and cyclists on the road.