The Derwent Valley Cycleway is an aspirational project to create an off road cycleway between Derby and Baslow passing through the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site and linking a number of significant population centres including Derby, Duffield, Belper, Cromford, Matlock Bath and Matlock.
The benefits of the cycleway include:
- Increased Tourism (e.g. cycle tourists) will lead to commercial opportunities to support the tourist demand (e.g. bed and breakfast, café, bike hire). In addition, existing tourist attractions will benefit from the increased number of visitors arriving using the Cycleway.
- There are a large number of people who commute from Belper and Duffield into Derby and the cycleway will provide an attractive alternative to using the, currently congested, roads.
There are many more who would commute if an attractive, safe, off road, alternative to the A6 trunk road was provided.
- The beauty of the surroundings and the lack of significant gradients will encourage people to cycle for health and thereby reduce obesity and increase overall healthiness of the local population.
- To improve air quality by making it safer to commute by bicycle.
The cycleway is intended to follow the course of the River Derwent as closely as possible which has the benefits of ensuring a relatively flat route and providing scenic views and access to the many riverside attractions within the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage site.
The plan is for the route to be traffic free and open to all kinds of users including walkers, runners and users of disability vehicles as well as cyclists. The provision of the route would reduce the motor traffic on the A6 as existing motorists consider using the scenic, safe and flat cycleway route for commuting. This would have knock on positive effects on the current air quality issues in Derby and elsewhere.