Public meeting hears case for £2.5 million Peak District bike trail project
New routes will boost local economy and reduce visitors' car dependency...

People attending a public meeting in Buxton last week were told that a £2.5 million cycle trail project in the Peak District National Park would provide a boost to the local economy.

The project, which will provide cycle trail links from Buxton and Matlock stations which will connect to the existing High Peak, Monsal and Tissington rails, is being funded by the Department for Transport as part of plans by the Peak District National Park Authority (PDNPA) to attract tourists while reducing the number of cars accessing local beauty spots.

According to the Buxton Advertiser, a spokesman for the Buxton Civic Association (BCA), which is working on detailed routes and planning procedures for the PDNPA, said: “We believe that the project will greatly benefit the local tourist economy," adding, “it will provide some excellent leisure facilities for everyone.”

The BCA put forward its planning application for part of the route including Diamond Hill, Harpur Hill, Staker Hill and Earl Sterndale in January, according to the newspaper.

John Grimshaw, Special Advisor to Cycling England, told the meeting: “This would be a really good family cycle route. We want to make it possible for people to come to Buxton, then cycle or walk around. We want to create paths suitable for wheelchairs and elderly people."

A further public meeting is due to be held in May or June, and subject to planning permission, the project is planned to be completed by 2012.

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.