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
Solicitor and outdoor enthusiast
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
Planning approval has been granted for 3 of the 4 phases of the route between Matlock and Rowsley: Phase l between Matlock and Old Road, Darley Dale (reference CD3/1214/119), Phase 3 between Church Road, Churchtown and Harrison Way Northwood (reference CD3/1214/122) and Phase 4 between Harrison Way and Old Station Close, Rowsley (reference CD3/0215/142).
An application for Phase 2 between Darley Dale and Church Road, Churchtown, through the Whitworth Park (reference CD3/0615/46) was submitted at the end of June and is currently out for consultation. Phase 5 will cover the section between Old Station Close, Rowsley and the Peak District National Park boundary and include the crossing over the A6 and the railway viaduct over the River Derwent. Discussions are still taking place between the County Council and Peak Rail as to what form the bridge should take so no application has been submitted yet.
Work on the ground for Phases 1 and 3 has been delayed due to the time it is taking to discharge planning conditions but it is hoped that work can start on site by the end of September. Permission for Phase 4 was only granted on 10 August and there are several conditions to be discharged so work will not start on this section until the Autumn.
An additional grant aid has been received from central government to build a short shared cycle/pedestrian route on the A6 near the Arc Leisure Centre, Matlock to provide a valuable additional link into the White Peak Loop for Matlock residents. This scheme is now complete.
Phase 6 covers the section within the Peak District National Park, through the Haddon Estate. Discussions are still ongoing with the Estate over details for the trail and over the two further bridges that are being proposed to bridge Church Lane and Park Lane in Rowsley. The section of the route through the Haddon Estate has also been affected by the confirmation of the presence of hibernating bats in the tunnel. More survey work is being carried out over the summer months and all the data is being analysed before a decision can be made about what this will mean for the project. It will have a significant impact on the timescales as it is unlikely that work could start in the tunnel until summer 2016.
Work is complete to deliver safety improvement works on the Wyedale section of the route between Topley Pike and the western end of the Monsal Trail and the route has now been reopened. Work to explore options to develop the route further into Buxton is not due to begin until later in 2015.
Work started on site at the end of July to build the section of the route between Dale Head Road over Staker Hill and along the former railway line to connect down into the centre of Harpur Hill at Parks Inn. Once this is complete work will be carried out to sign the road sections to provide onward links to the High Peak Trail in the south and Buxton in the north.