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.