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Consultation on White Peak Loop extension of the Monsal Trail from Bakewell to Matlock
The vision behind the White Peak Loop is to create a 60 mile circuit connecting the existing High Peak, Tissington and Monsal Trails into Buxton, Bakewell and Matlock.
Derbyshire County Council is in receipt of grant funding from the Department for Transport to deliver the sections of the White Peak Loop. Details are shown in a document setting out proposed developments for cycling in the National Park (click here) through the Pedal Peak ll Project. Longer term a link from the western end of the Monsal Trail into Buxton and a link between Matlock and the southern end of the High Peak Trail via Cromford will complete the Loop.
The council, together with URS Consultants, is currently carrying out a short consultation about the 7 mile section to extend the Monsal Trail south into Matlock. The proposal is that the route will start at Coombs Lane, Bakewell and follow the route of the dismantled railway line, including re-opening the 945m tunnel, through the Haddon Estate. It is intended that the route will include 3 new bridges in the Rowsley area to cross Park Lane, Church Lane and the A6 and also make use of the existing viaduct to cross the River Derwent. From Rowsley the proposed route will carry on to Matlock mainly running adjacent to the railway line operated by Peak Rail.
What survey work has been carried out?
The proposed route has been subject to extensive assessment by specialist teams within URS including:
A landscape and visual impact assessment
An archaeology/heritage assessment
A noise impact assessment
A Flood Risk assessment along the Derwent Valley
Each of these technical reports will be submitted in support of the planning application for consideration by both the Peak District National Park Authority and Derbyshire County Council. Once submitted to the Councils these reports will be publicly available.
Who will the trail be suitable for?
The proposal is to build a 3m wide surfaced track similar to that already on the Monsal Trail that will create a safe and accessible route for walkers and cyclists. It will have a good level surface and be suitable for all abilities including for wheelchairs and pushchairs. The proposal is to also allow horse riders to use the section through the Haddon Estate between Bakewell and Rowsley. Beyond that the proximity of the route to the heritage railway line operating steam trains and the road crossings makes it unsuitable for horse use. The route itself will be traffic-free but will involve 3 road crossings on the section between Rowsley and Matlock.
The route will support sustainability objectives by providing a realistic alternative to the use of the private motor car and will also support a move towards healthier living by providing an opportunity for people to use the route for outdoor recreational activities and every day journeys.
What work is being proposed?
Consultation is still continuing with key landowners and details are further advanced for the Matlock to Rowsley section of the route. URS consultants have produced a series of plans providing details of the work that has already been agreed. From Friday 22nd August these plans will be on display in a travelling exhibition and will also be attached to the Pedal Peak page on the County Council’s website. There are still further details to be confirmed and in places there are still route options being considered. Feedback and comments on these options are welcomed.
What are the consultation details?
A travelling exhibition will be touring five venues during the last week of August. At each venue display material will be available. Members of the project team made up of officers from Derbyshire County Council and consultants from URS will be available on certain days to discuss the plans, answer your queries and listen to your feedback. You can attend one of these events to view the details and have your say on the proposed development on the days indicated in the table below.
There will also be information about the Cycle Friendly Places Grant Scheme, another strand within the Pedal Peak Project which is being promoted by the Peak District National Park Authority to help local communities and businesses provide better facilities for cyclists.
You can also look at a summary of the proposals on line at www.derbyshire.gov.uk/pedalpeak. The information on the web pages will remain for most of September until such time as planning permission has been submitted.
We are keen to hear your opinion on the proposals and get some idea of what the projected use of the route might be. We have designed a questionnaire that will be available in paper format at the exhibition venues and it is also available electronically online via the following link:https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/RSSWMKF.
What are the next steps?
We are working to a very tight timescale. In order to take advantage of this government funding there is a requirement to have spent a portion of the funding by March 2015 with the remainder by March 2016. Once the final details have been agreed with the landowners and the results from this consultation are complete, planning applications will be submitted to Derbyshire County Council for the route from Matlock to Rowsley as soon as possible and to the Peak District National Park Authority, for the section of the route beyond Rowsley in the National Park to Bakewell.
How to keep in touch
You can register to receive regular newsletter updates about the Pedal Peak Project on the Pedal Peak pages on the council's website:www.derbyshire.gov.uk/pedalpeak.
White Peak Loop extension