Linking the Peak District's disused railway lines to the railway towns of Matlock and Buxton.
To create links between the towns and the trails managed and maintained by the Peak District National Park Authority and Derbyshire County Council.
To create a 60 mile circular route, termed the ‘White Peak Loop’ between Buxton and Matlock rail stations
Reducing traffic Giving people an alternative to driving into the Peak District Providing an opportunity to cycle-commute to work and use bikes to access local amenities Delivering recognised health benefits Offering leisure activities for young people
PEAK CYCLE LINKS is a local charity whose aim is to promote links to popular cycling and walking routes in the Peak District. One of its ambitions is to see the creation of the White Peak Loop, a 60 mile traffic-free circuit.
The Park has been awarded £5.8 m by the Department of Transport to build cycle trails/paths. The funding is for several projects including the White Peak Loop to link the Monsal Trail and the Tissington Trail via Buxton and Matlock. This represents a significant investment in the High Peak and Peak District National Park
The grant conditions require that the money is spent by the end of March 2015. Whilst some of the sectors of the White Peak Loop are still in the planning stage, a planning permission has already been granted for the sector between Ladmanlow via Staker Hill and Harpur Hill to the Axe Edge Road, near Earl Sterndale connecting through to the High Peak Trail. It is anticipated that construction will start later this year.
Giving people an alternative to driving into the Peak District
Providing an opportunity to cycle-commute to work and use bikes to access local amenities
Delivering recognised health benefits
Offering leisure activities for young people
High Peak Trail
Bikeability instructor and passionate road cyclist and mountain biker
Environmentalist and keen cyclist
Geophysicist, climber, runner and cyclist
The National Park has popular cycling routes along the Tissington and High Peak Railways as well as on the Monsal Trail near to Bakewell. But it has long been frustrated by their not connecting through to Buxton and Matlock Stations.
Greenways footpaths and cycling routes are important opportunities for making ways through the countryside for the public to enjoy and appreciate the landscape, the views, the vegetation, plants and wildlife. Encouraging more people to travel this way and less by car, is a significant contribution towards reducing pollution, CO2 emissions and the intrusion of traffic into quiet areas.
From an environmental perspective the central purpose of this project is to create local areas of recreation close to Buxton, and to make it possible to enjoy the National Park and its environs, by arriving at Buxton station and continuing on by bicycle. When fully completed this project could be a popular and very significant example of an opportunity to bring about a reduction in the unbridled travel by car thereby reducing CO2 emissions and resource depletion.
Peak Cycle Links anticipates signing up a large number of supporters, both locally and from amongst all the visitors who will be using the new trails. Their support will find ongoing maintenance, as well as provide a roster of local voluntary rangers who will look after the paths on a daily basis as they walk or cycle along them. This will include any footpath sections for walkers as well as the main shared use route.
News from Derbyshire County Council
Extending the northern end of High Peak Trail into Buxton
The proposal in the bid is to connect the top of the High Peak Tail into Buxton by using minor roads through Earl Sterndale and a new off-road section around Staker Hill to Harpur Hill.
Work started on site at the end of July 2015 to build the 3km off road section linking Dale Head Road, over Staker Hill, around the line of the former railway and down to the Parks Inn pub in the centre of Harpur Hill. The route is largely complete on the ground apart from the fact that we have had to temporarily stop the trail 200m short of the pub at the top of Fiddle Street while we carry out some final negotiations.
As a result the route is only available to pedestrians at the moment and will not be available to cyclists until there is a completed link to join the highway. More information will be provided on the website as soon as this is resolved. A signing scheme on minor roads through Earl Sterndale has been drawn up and the signs promoting the White Peak Loop link to the top of the High Peak Trail should be in place before the start of the summer. Plans to continue the route through the Health and Safety Laboratory (HSL) site at Harpur Hill to connect Grin Low and Buxton Country Parks into Buxton are being reviewed in light of HSL's decision to not take part in the project. Continuation of the western end of Monsal Trail at Blackwell Cottages into Buxton This section was not formally included in the bid to be delivered on the ground but we made a commitment to pursue this link as a complementary project to ensure that, because of the sensitive nature of the proposed route through Woo Dale, the consultations and negotiations can be undertaken without the pressure of a deadline for delivery. The priority though is to progress the schemes that do need to be delivered so work on this section of the White Peak Loop is not expected to start until later 2016. The safety improvement works on the Wyedale section of the Monsal Trail between Topley Pike and the western end of the trail are complete and were organised by the Peak District National Park Authority.
The proposal in the bid is to develop 12km of new trail from Bakewell through the Haddon Estate, past Rowsley, following the course of the former railway as closely as possible into Matlock, which will include three new bridges over Park Lane, Church Lane and the A6 in the Rowsley area. Considerable support for this section of the route was expressed during a public consultation held at the end of August 2014. The consultation provided additional information about the proposed route and the plans can still be viewed via the link at the bottom of this page along with a summary of the consultation. The route between Matlock and Rowsley has been split into four phases and planning permission has now been approved for all four sections. Several of our own work teams (AllRoads) are now on site building the route, which should be completed during summer 2016. The first section to be finished is a1km stretch between Church Road, Churchtown and the southern end of the Peak Rail car park at Rowsley South. The final section to be built will be the second phase that passes through the Whitworth Park between Station Road, Darley Dale and Church Road because work will not be able to start until May because the site is an important one for amphibians.
Work is still progressing for the remaining section of the route from Rowsley into Bakewell. Negotiations are ongoing over the A6 road crossing and a number of bat surveys have been carried out over the past year in the Haddon Tunnel. The next stage is to liaise with relevant groups and organisations and work up more detailed designs. These issues will mean that this section will not be completed before the current project finishes.