White Peak Loop West - Buxton
Extending the northern end of High Peak Trail into Buxton
The proposal in the bid was to connect the top of the High Peak Trail into Buxton by using minor roads through Earl Sterndale and a new off-road section around Staker Hill to Harpur Hill.
The 3km off road section linking Dale Head Road, over Staker Hill, around the line of the former railway and down to the Parks Inn pub in the centre of Harpur Hill is largely complete on the ground apart from the fact that we have had to temporarily stop the trail 100m short of the pub at the top of Fiddle Street while we carry out some final negotiations and design work. As a result the route is only available to pedestrians at the moment and will not be available to cyclists until there is a completed link to join the highway. More information will be provided on the website as soon as this is resolved.
A signing scheme on minor roads through Earl Sterndale promoting the 6km White Peak Loop link connection between this new section and the top of the High Peak Trail is now in place. Follow the blue ‘WPL’ cycle signs.
Plans to continue the route through the Health and Safety Laboratory (HSL) site at Harpur Hill to connect Grin Low and Buxton Country Parks into Buxton are being reviewed in light of HSL's decision to not take part in the project.
Continuation of the western end of Monsal Trail at Blackwell Cottages into Buxton
This section was not formally included in the bid to be delivered on the ground but we made a commitment to pursue this link as a complementary project to ensure that, because of the sensitive nature of the proposed route through Woo Dale, the consultations and negotiations can be undertaken without the pressure of a deadline for delivery. The priority though is to progress the schemes that do need to be delivered so work on this section of the White Peak Loop is not expected to start until later.
The safety improvement works on the Wyedale section of the Monsal Trail between Topley Pike and the western end of the trail are complete and were organised by the Peak District National Park Authority.
White Peak Loop East - Matlock
Connecting the eastern end of the Monsal Trail at Bakewell into Matlock
The proposal in the bid is to develop 12km of new trail from Bakewell through the Haddon Estate, past Rowsley, following the course of the former railway as closely as possible into Matlock. Considerable support for this section of the White Peak Loop route was expressed during a public consultation held at the end of August 2014. Information about the consultation can be downloaded from this page.
Work is nearing completion on the ground for the 8km route between Matlock and Rowsley. This work has been project managed and constructed by us with engineering design and supervisory support. The work has been split into four phases and our own work teams (ALLRoads) are now on site building the route.
Phase 1: Matlock (opposite the Arc) to Old Road, Darley Dale – the work to widen the surface along the railway to the back of Red House, Darley Dale is largely complete, including the repair of a significant length of the retaining wall on the railway embankment near Red House and the construction of a new route across farmland to link to Old Road. This section is not yet available as a through route for cyclists however as there have been considerable delays in getting formal approvals for the link across the railway line towards the A6 opposite the Arc Leisure Centre. We're working closely with Peak Rail to finalise details regarding the new improved crossing which will include resolving the issue with respect to the locked gates. In the meantime the nearby footpath crossing remains open but the surface is very uneven and involves negotiating some steep steps in the embankment.
Phase 2: Station Road, Darley Dale through Whitworth Park to Church Road, Churchtown. Work on this section is complete.
Phase 3: Church Road, Churchtown to Harrison Way, Northwood. The work on the ground is complete.
Phase 4: Harrison Way, Northwood to Old Station Close, Rowsley – including a 200m length of boardwalk is complete. Some repairs will be necessary to some of the deck boards which were faulty and are being replaced by the manufacturer.
The whole route between Matlock and Rowsley will not be fully signed off or officially opened until the issues surrounding the rail crossing on phase 1 have been resolved.
The remaining 4km section of the route from Rowsley into Bakewell is still at the landowner negotiation and design stage. When complete it will include the building of 3 bridges to provide a through route around Rowsley and the refurbishment and opening up of a 1km long tunnel beneath the Haddon Estate. As a result this section will not be completed for a while.
There is a way of using existing public rights of way to get from Rowsley to Bakewell without going on the A6 via a public bridleway and a non-classified highway which involves a steep climb and a variable surface. We are currently looking at the feasibility of these being used as a temporary off road alternative until the main onward route along the former railway is completed.