Derby is one of the first six Cycle Demonstration Towns (CDT), and here the project was aimed at increasing cycling among children and young people.
Through engagement in cycle sport and activities in schools, along with cycle shelter installation at virtually every school, cycling to school increased from 0.5 per cent to seven per cent.
The tremendous output of the [council’s] Cycle Derby team is matched only by their boundless enthusiasm for promoting cycling to young people and, increasingly, to adults as well.
Some of Derby’s major employers also have good employee cycling levels, led by Rolls-Royce, with nine per cent, and the Royal Derby Hospital with seven per cent. Despite this, a strong core of urban cyclists, cycling clubs and grass-roots engagement through Sustrans, commuting figures were unchanged between 2001 and 2011 (2.5 per cent).
The cycle network has some good, well-used routes, but it is disjointed, leaving cyclists exposed at critical points, while the local transport plan puts active travel near the bottom of its priorities.
Cycling development in Derby relies on council heroes doing bits and pieces with tiny, uncoordinated budgets because there is no cycle development plan, while political support varies between the parties, leading to a stop-go approach.
Derby Cycling Group (DCG), has campaigned since 1979, our most recent success a high-profile campaign to ensure the velodrome, part of a multi-sports arena, went ahead despite a sceptical council. A proposed cycle link with the nearby Riverside Path, the city’s main cycle artery, was removed when it conflicted with a park and ride car park. Now cycle parking at the venue is also in doubt.
In the city centre, one-way streets and the ring road means there are no safe routes other than through the central pedestrianised area, where cycles are prohibited; this causes conflict with pedestrians.
This article was first published in the November 7 issue of Cycling Weekly. Read Cycling Weekly magazine on the day of release where ever you are in the world International digital edition, UK digital edition. And if you like us, rate us!