Derwent Valley Cycleway is a project to develop a cycleway through the Derwent Valley World Heritage Site. The objective of the working group is to bring together individuals and groups with an interest in establishing a safe and family friendly, off road, multi-user cycle route from Matlock to Derby linking the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Sites.
The group aim access to include wheelchair users and, on certain sections, where more appropriate routes cannot be made available, horse riders and walkers without dogs.
Ian Scott and Derek Latham spent time cycling down the dedicated cycle route alongside the Danube River and realised that there was no equivalent in Derbyshire despite the beauty of the Derwent Valley.
Independently, a group of cyclists in Duffield had identified the benefits of the southern part of the route (particularly from Duffield to Derby).
The local MP, Pauline Latham, had spoken about the opportunity for a cycleway in Parliament and met with the various interested parties. Her initiative led to a meeting and the working group being founded.
A project of this size is never simple and there are a number of obstacles to be overcome including in the areas of:
- Funding. Significant funds are needed to make the route a reality and the current pressure on public spending means obtaining the funding will be a challenge. However, possible sources have been identified and organisations involved have been positive about the attractions of the project.
- Commitment from landowners. A lot of effort has gone into identifying the owners of land that the proposed route will cross. Where possible informal discussions have been held in order to understand, and if possible accommodate, any concerns that the landowners have. In general, most landowners are positive although it is likely that, with a project of this size, there will be some conflict that will need to be resolved.
- Route. Various possible routes have been explored matching the design principles. In some parts of the route, the topology of the land offers few options.
The proposed route (marked on the map below) is only tentative and is subject to numerous discussions with local landowners and resolution of “on the ground” issues that are likely to arise. This should not be taken as a definitive route but only as an indicative route of what is possible.
As discussions and plans proceed, this route is very likely to be modified.
The group’s web site is: http://derwentvalleycycleway.org.uk/ where you will find more information and the opportunity to sign up to receiving regular newsletters detailing progress.
by David George
Photo and map: Derwent Valley Cycleway