A programme to improve the environment in St Peters Street and introduce cycle access has been given the thumbs up by cycling and accessibility advocates who believe that it will achieve a number of mutual goals.

There is to be the improvement of 3,000 square metres of public realm and creation of 1,000 metres of legal cycle routes through the city centre as part of the Council’s Connected Cycle City and Placemaking Programme.

The first phase of work is scheduled to start on Monday 11th September and last until mid-November. The second phase will start in late January and is scheduled to be completed by the end of July.

During the Christmas break, St Peters Street will be fully accessible with no construction barriers in place.

The work is to lay new paving and install new street furniture zones and street lighting to improve night time security.

When completed in July 2018, legal cycle access will be permitted from Babington Lane along St Peters Street and Corn Market to the junction with St James’s Street before 10.00am and after 5.00pm – the same time that other vehicles are allowed in these pedestrianised areas.

Deputy Leader, Cllr Martin Rawson, who has responsibility for city centre regeneration, said that this will bring a much needed face lift to the heart of the city.

The Labour Party administration is committed to providing space for cycling in the city as this is one of the avenues towards achieving sustainable transport and creating a more vibrant city centre as it will bring many more people into the city. I’ve seen it at work in other cities in the East Midlands and am confident that it will be successful here.

Chair of the St Peters Quarter Business Improvement District, Helen Wathall, said that the works on the public realm are “crucial to improving the area” and are in sync with their business objectives.

The public realm aspect of this project mirrors two of our key aims: to make the area smart and attractive and create an enjoyable and easily accessible place for visitors, workers and residents. Although the works will inevitably cause some disruption, we regard them as crucial to improving the area and will ultimately create a more attractive and appealing environment for businesses and visitors alike. We will also work to ensure that businesses in St Peters Quarter are engaged in the consultation regarding the cycle access in the coming weeks and months.

Street furniture zones

Configuration of furniture zones for St Peters Street
FURNITURE ZONES are designed to be disability-friendly, environmentally-beneficial and security-conscious.

Street furniture zones will comprise two planters, two benches, a litter bin, bicycle parks and a new low level street light which improves security at night. The paving will consist of multi-coloured blocks and will be bordered by slightly raised paving to assist the blind and sight-impaired navigate to and around them.

Derby’s Disabled People’s Champion, Cllr Paul Pegg, said that he was satisfied that the project has integrated the needs of the disabled.

As Derby’s Disabled People’s Champion I am extremely committed to ensuring that those with a disability have their needs met. An initial walking Equality Impact Assessment was carried out for the public realm improvement in St Peters Street and I am satisfied that it has been designed with disabled people in mind.

Tony Roelich, acting chair of Derby Cycling Group said cycle access will be enormously helpful in many ways for many people.

Today, many more people are living in the city centre. Having a convenient and safe cycling thoroughfare to enable them to get to destinations within the city centre and beyond will encourage more people to make local journeys by bike, helping to reduce congestion, pollution and their transport costs and getting themselves some regular exercise. The alternative parallel routes are often incomplete due to one-way streets, do not give good access, are physically demanding or inconvenient in some other way, so access to this direct route will be extremely useful for very many everyday cyclists.

The St Peters Street work is part of a bigger £1.9m public realm refurbishment. Other phases will be undertaken in Albion Street, Exchange Street and Osnabrück Square in 2018 and 2019.

D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership – the private sector-led partnership which promotes economic growth across Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire – is providing £1.65m from its Local Growth Fund allocation. The Council is providing £250,000.

Before cycling through the city centre can be allowed, a Traffic Regulation Order is required to legalise it. The process has started and expected to be completed by the time the paving works are completed in July 2018.