The final piece of the jigsaw is now in place on a new multi user trail for walkers and cyclists from Matlock to Rowsley thanks to a project led by Derbyshire County Council.
A new crossing has been built over the former Midland Railway Line between Matlock and Buxton to complete this five mile section of the White Peak Loop – a project to link the existing Monsal and High Peak Trails through Matlock in the south and Buxton in the north to provide a 60 mile continuous route.
The county council has worked in partnership with Derbyshire Dales District Council and other local landowners on the new trail.
Derbyshire County Council Cabinet Member for Highways, Transport and Infrastructure Councillor Simon Spencer said:
“The opening of the new Matlock to Rowsley trail is fantastic news for Derbyshire.
“The trail will provide a safe and easy route for residents and visitors wanting to travel between the two areas either by foot or bike and it is also suitable for pushchairs and mobility scooters.
“We are committed to improving walking and cycling infrastructure throughout the county and we hope the trail will encourage people to consider alternatives ways of travelling that are better for the environment and healthier too.”
Leader of Derbyshire Dales District Council Councillor Lewis Rose OBE, said:
“Development of the latest section of the White Peak Loop has involved detailed land negotiations and, as one of the major landowners along this stretch of the former railway line, we've been delighted to work with the County Council and other partners to help make it happen.
“It's great news that most of the planned 60-mile circular trail is in the Derbyshire Dales and that's a key reason we have been so keen to support an innovative project that benefits residents and tourists, encouraging cycle tourism that will provide a further boost to the local Dales economy.”
Work to date on the whole of the White Peak Loop has been funded by a grant of £1.5m from the Department for Transport and £1m from Derbyshire County Council.
Photo caption - Routes ahead: Derbyshire County Council Cabinet Member for Highways, Transport and Infrastructure Councillor Simon Spencer prepares to cut the tape at the Darley Dale entrance and declare the Matlock to Rowsley Trail officially open, assisted by local youngsters Jimmy Mellor (11), left, and Ben Mellor (7).