Funding for cycle trails

Working Together: Councillor Joan Dixon, Derbyshire County Council Cabinet Member for Jobs, Economy and Transport, welcomes Takashi Hirata, Senior Staff of Toyota City Council's International Division, to the authority's County Hall headquarters
Working Together: Councillor Joan Dixon, Derbyshire County Council Cabinet Member for Jobs, Economy and Transport, welcomes Takashi Hirata, Senior Staff of Toyota City Council's International Division, to the authority's County Hall headquarters
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Tourism in Derbyshire has received a multi-million pound boost to pay for new cycle trails in the county.

Four new trails will be created in the project, which involves the Peak District National Park Authority, Barnsley Council, Sheffield Council and Staffordshire Council.

Pedal Peak is designed to put an estimated 3.5 million people within reach of the Peak District National Park cycle network - either directly by bike in less than an hour, or following a short train ride.

The Department for Transport has agreed to pay £5 million towards it.

It is the second phase of the Pedal Peak project. Phase one, last year, extended the Monsal Trail by opening up disused railway tunnels.

Councillor Joan Dixon, Derbyshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Jobs, Economy and Transport, said: “This is fantastic news for Derbyshire.

“Boosting our local economy is at the top of our agenda, so anything we can do to improve tourism and open up our county’s beautiful countryside to attract new visitors is most welcome.

“We will consult fully with local people on each of the routes and we will need to gain planning permission before any work can start.”

Tony Favell, chair of the Peak District National Park Authority, said: “This is wonderful and exciting news for the Peak District.

“It is great for family cycling and for walkers too. It gives road cyclists alternative routes and eases traffic congestion.

“It will boost healthy living for people in the big cities of Sheffield, Derby, Nottingham and Stoke, and at the same time benefit national park residents and rural businesses.

“There is a huge amount of work involved in opening up these four cycle-ways and there will be public consultation on the precise routes to be taken, but investing in traffic-free trails is a win-win situation for everyone and the environment.”

Planning applications for the four routes are expected to be submitted over the next year and they are expected to be completed by 2016.