Plans submitted for Monsal Trail extension

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Planning applications have been submitted for two of the first sections of the proposed extension of the Monsal Trail from Bakewell to Matlock.

The trail will mainly follow the existing footpath next to the Peak Rail track from Matlock to Rowsley and in most places will be 3m wide.

The surface will be the same stone as the rest of the trail. The planning applications are expected to be considered in early 2015.

If they are approved, work will start as soon as possible. A public consultation was held earlier this year to find out what residents thought about the proposed extension of the Monsal trail.

Events and exhibitions were held in Matlock, Rowsley, Bakewell and Darley Dale.

A spokesman for Derbyshire County Council said feedback from the event was overwhelmingly positive.

More than 900 questionnaires were returned, with 97 per cent being in favour of the trail being extended to Matlock.

More than 50 per cent of those who responded said it would mean them using their cars less and 80 per cent said that the trail would encourage them to start cycling or cycle more. The council’s deputy cabinet member for highways, transport and infrastructure, Councillor John Owen, said: “The extension of the Monsal Trail will be a great facility for local people and will also boost tourism. It’s great to see progress on this project and it is also wonderful to see how many local people are in favour.”

Further planning applications are expected to be submitted for the rest of the trail later in 2015.