Peddling along our nice new cycle track from Bamford to Hathersage the other day got me thinking about why we are spending so much money on new facilities for cyclists. On the face of it better cycleways seem to be a good thing. But are some cycle tracks better than others? The one from Bamford to Hathersage is incomplete but essentially the best sort of track in that it connects local communities and enables those of us who live in the Valley to go about our business on bikes in a safer fashion. Its incomplete because it dodges the difficult bits of the route over the railway bridge but at least it is a step in the right direction.
I suspect the main motivation for finding it is to attract more tourists whether pelotons of serious cyclists, who still use the main road itself or the casual visitor who drives to the Peak District to enjoy cycling around once they get here. In this repsect the money spent on new cycle routes is probably not that sustainable. As long as people get in their cars to go cycling it probably increases their carbon emissions. Or maybe it displaces those emissions because they come cycling in the Peak instead of flying off to Lanzarote. Not straightforward is it? What do you think. Money well spent or tourism greenwash?