Old railway branch line to become cycling and walking trail

A stretch of old railway line in a Derbyshire village is to be converted into a route for cyclists, horseriders, walkers, runners, and mobility scooters[1].

The plans will see the 3.5-mile Little Eaton Branch Line between Duffield Road in Little Eaton and Rawson Green developed into a multi-user 'greenway'. Once complete the route will form a section of the Derby City to Ripley cycle route[2], providing an alternative to cycling on the corresponding stretch of Derby Road.

Funding for the project, which is expected to cost around £2.7 million, has been awarded as part of a grant from the government agency Active Travel England[3] to encourage and promote alternative methods of travel to the car. The development of the Little Eaton Branch Line formed a key part of Derbyshire County Council's bid for funding.

A further £300,000 will be used to help progress detailed engineering design work for connecting the White Peak Loop cycle route into Buxton Town Centre. Working with a range of partners and stakeholders, the county council’s ambition is to create a route of more than 50 miles around the beautiful ‘White Peak’ area of the Derbyshire Peak District. Around 70% of the route is currently complete.

Councillor Carolyn Renwick, Derbyshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Infrastructure and Environment, said: “We’re really pleased that Active Travel England has recognised the work we are doing to provide more opportunities for alternative methods of travel to the car. There’s overwhelming support in the community for the Little Eaton greenway and we look forward to starting work on the ground to build this off-road route which will be open to a wide range of users.

“Connecting the White Peak Loop is a long-standing ambition of the county council and this is an exciting step forward towards putting in place one of the missing links for the route which has the potential to attract visitors from all over the UK, as well as promoting greener travel.”

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  1. ^ cyclists, horseriders, walkers, runners, and mobility scooters (www.derbytelegraph.co.uk)
  2. ^ Derby City to Ripley cycle route (www.derbytelegraph.co.uk)
  3. ^ government agency Active Travel England (www.derbytelegraph.co.uk)
  4. ^ Ashbourne residents asked if they support clean air zone or 20mph limits in bid to cut pollution (www.derbytelegraph.co.uk)
  5. ^ the main Derbyshire Live newsletter here (www.derbytelegraph.co.uk)