National Park Authority wants to attract more bike riders to the area


The Peak District National Park Authority is to make available grants of up to £10,000 to enable local businesses and other organisations to improve facilities for cyclists in a drive to attract more riders - and the money they spend - to the area.

The authority says that the grants are available to local businesses, parish councils and community groups, and suggests that facilities they could spend the money on might include: “secure overnight cycle parking, bike locks at cafes, cycle racks at destinations, inner tube vending machines, street bike-tyre pumps, and even cycle friendly transport.”

It adds that providers of accommodation could also use money to ensure that their premises conform to the Visit England ‘Cyclists Welcome’ standard, or to develop cycle routes that provide a link between refreshment stops and other places of interest.

The maximum grant is £10,000. Business can apply for 60 percent of their project costs, rising to 70 percent in the case of community organisations.

Tony Favell, who chairs the Peak District National Park Authority, said: “With world class cycling events on our turf such as L’Eroica in June and the Tour de France in July, we want cyclists to see that the Peak District offers a cycle friendly welcome par excellence and provides a top quality experience for all types of cyclists.

“We want to see more cycle friendly cafes, pubs and accommodation, bike shops and cycle parking in and around the Peak District. Investing in the business opportunities around cycling makes good economic sense and will help support a stronger, more vibrant rural economy.

“The end result should be more happy, healthy people enjoying cycling safely, more often, and benefiting local businesses.”

The application process requires an expression of interest form to be submitted, with those making successful proposals then required to submit a full application.

Further details can be found at www.peakdistrict.gov.uk/cyclegrantscheme or by contacting the authority’s sustainable development officer, Richard Godley by email at richard.godley [at] peakdistrict.gov.uk or by phone on 01629 816312.

The Peak District National Park lies mainly in Derbyshire but also extends into South and West Yorkshire, Greater Manchester, Staffordshire and Cheshire.

The money for the grants comes from the £5 million funding from the Department for Transport (plus local funding of £2.5 million) allocated to the Peak District National Park Authority last August when Prime Minister David Cameron announced a total of £94 million in funding for cycling in a number of cities and national parks in England.

In his announcement, the bid from the Peak District National Park Authority was summarised as:

3.5 million people in the surrounding urban areas of Greater Manchester, Sheffield, Derby, Nottingham and Stoke-on-Trent will have better access to the cycle ways of the Peak District. The scheme provides four new routes which will enhance the network of traffic-free cycling in the Peak District. The programme aims to target public health in the cities that connect to the national park.

Among the existing initiatives carried out by the Peak District National Park Authority to improve cycling facilities there under its Pedal Peak District programme is the Monsal Trail. As part of that route, former transport minister Norman Baker in 2011 opened a new section of the trail that included four former railway tunnels, each between 400 and 500 metres long, which had been refurbished at a cost of £2.25 million.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.


mingmong [304 posts] 4 years ago

Pedant: Headstone Viaduct.

pmanc [210 posts] 4 years ago

The Monsal Trail is a lovely ride for the whole family, and incredibly popular on a sunny day. When we rode it, the main complaint was that it was almost too busy.

But imho the main issue with trails like this (and the close by High Peaks and Tissington Trails) is that the access by public transport is poor - especially if you're trying to take your bike, and the surrounding areas have fast busy intimidating roads. So these trails tend to be a get-there-by-car and do-an-out-and-back affair for any non-road-warrior cyclists.

This is a result of cyclists having to beg at the table to get the leftovers from Beeching cuts and the like. Of course Bakewell no longer has a station; the Monsal Trail only exists because they closed the train line. And I don't think a paltry ten grand is likely to do much about that.

farrell [1946 posts] 4 years ago

PManc is just being polite, the Peak District is shit at the best of times and it is bloody awful for cyclists. The pubs are virtually non-existent and if you do find one that's open then the beer is muck.

The people are rude, aggressive and very unfriendly. It's probably best for all concerned if you don't bother coming.

I've heard the New Forest is good for cycling, try there instead.

Or keep going over the Pennines to Yorkshire.


A V Lowe [621 posts] 4 years ago

How many can recall the Peak Park Bike Buses that ran out from Manchester in the early 1990's, or the services which Mainline ran out from Sheffield around the Millennium, or the Stanedge summer service which carried cycles, and still (I believe) the buses that run out from Hillsborough to Rivelin and Bradfields/Strines and carry cycles. The Peak Park services, and the later Devon Bike buses are worth a comment. They used 2-door single deck buses, the former being specially adapted for carrying large parties in wheelchairs, but the latter came from an area where the high passenger flows dictated the use of 2 door buses, as in London. This prompts the suggestion that ex-London midibuses (9.6m darts and their equivalent) often on the market secondhand from London, offer the potential of a 16-20 seat rural bus, and space for 6-8 bikes at the back, or down one side (with the option of having the bike area 'convertible' with fold away seating). The Sheffield services used Social work buses - idle at the weekend

Many rural bus routes would get a great boost if opened up to cycle carriage. When West Coast Motors took on the contract for the Cloanaig to Lochgilphead service with the requirement (set by the Council as the client) to carry bikes, they were well surprised by the number of additional passengers gained.

Up in NE Scotland young BMX and MTB riders work together with the bus drivers and put up to 10 bikes in the underfloor hold of the coach-type vehicles used, and the Inverness-Cromarty bus has a regular number of commuters who cycle to the bus stops.

I've endured (rather than used) the full Trans-Peak route from Manchester to Derby, and outside the peak commuting times the potential to put a bikes in the tip up seat space is huge, even some of the regular passengers who get off at 'road-end' stops with a 1-2 mile hike to their village would use this.

It is also worth understanding the current way that many early morning and late evening bus services operate, with the bus operator having no local depot in the village, so a bus travels out - effectively with dead miles (no passengers) to start the service and comes back equally empty at night - I've watch the bus from Pitlochry to Perth doing just that when travelling on the A9 or the train on the parallel railway. Travelling out and back with such 'positioning' services can provide a full day of leisure cycling in the Peak District, without the hassle/danger of cycling out there on busy main roads.

I'm aware that TM travel operate suitable low floor buses (Solos) and Trent Barton's express services to Chesterfield use coaches (with luggage holds). Do let me get some feedback on this, such as rural routes where as few as 3 passengers might be on a 30-seat bus. Let Road cc know and I'll ask Tony/Simon to pass on details, as we can work on delivery of a facility which will both help visitors, bringing bikes in without putting them on or in cars, and locals, especially the young and others who don't even have the ability to hold a driving licence.

I'll close with an idea which is already popular for pubs and restaurants in the Hope Valley - going out on an evening train, or cycling out, and having a meal or drink at a pub or restaurant, and coming home on the last train of the evening - often providing a substantial boost (ie 50+%) to passenger numbers. Transfer that to the bus services and perhaps we might start a virtuous circle of raising patronage and revenue, which in turn supports more frequent services, which than encourages more use of the more convenient services.

Of course with the radical goings on in the West Country, eyes are already looking at the old LSWR Main Line, where the earthworks have been largely preserved by its use as a cycle route, making it potentially re-useable. Not quite the full convenience of the Airdrie to Bathgate path, and it would need to have a stronger assurance that both the path and the railway would be completed at the same time, so perhaps the Derby-Manchester route might be restored?