Ministers gear up at tourist site visit

And They're Off: Tony Favell of the Peak District National Park, Minister for Tourism and Heritage John Penrose, Geoff Nickolds of Peak District National Park, MP Patrick McLoughlin and Hassop Station owner Duncan Stokes set off on the Monsal Trail for Litton Mill. is shown one of the electric bikes by owner Duncan Stokes at Hassop Station Cycle Hire.
And They're Off: Tony Favell of the Peak District National Park, Minister for Tourism and Heritage John Penrose, Geoff Nickolds of Peak District National Park, MP Patrick McLoughlin and Hassop Station owner Duncan Stokes set off on the Monsal Trail for Litton Mill. is shown one of the electric bikes by owner Duncan Stokes at Hassop Station Cycle Hire.

Cyclists in the Peak District were treated to an usual sight – when government ministers dressed in suits got on their bikes.

Tourism minister John Penrose and Dales MP Patrick McLoughlin used pedal power to see first-hand the vital role tourism plays in the area’s economy.

Mr Penrose visited Derbyshire on Monday following an invitation from official tourist board Visit Peak District and Derbyshire.

He began his day with a tour of Chatsworth before paying a visit to the cycle hire and cafe at Hassop Station.

The Tory politicians then took part in a half-hour ride on electric bikes on the Monsal Trail, where four former railway tunnels have recently re-opened.

Hassop Station owner Duncan Stokes said: “They were very impressed with Hassop Station and the Monsal Trail.

“They asked how opening up the tunnels has affected business and we explained that it has enabled us to open the cycle hire.”

Mr Penrose then visited the Peak District Mining Museum at Matlock Bath, took a cable car to savour some spectacular views of the Derwent Valley at the Heights of Abraham and called in at The Cables, a four-star rated B&B.

He rounded off his visit with an evening reception at East Lodge Hotel and Restaurant in Rowsley.

He said: “Both the Peak District and Derbyshire are beautiful destinations that offer a fantastic range of attractions to their visitors.

“I’m pleased to see the private and public sectors working so closely together to encourage growth and inspire more people to visit the region.”