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The Peak District National Park Authority is to consult the general public over the possibility of permanently excluding recreational motor vehicles and trail-bikes from two green lanes.
The Authority’s audit, resources and performance committee unanimously decided to seek the public’s views on proposed Traffic Regulation Orders to bar recreational motorised traffic from Long Causeway, between Sheffield and Hathersage, and the Roych, near Chapel-en-le-Frith.
The move follows a lengthy period of monitoring which showed harmful impacts on the natural beauty and on other users, such as walkers, cyclists and horse-riders, despite trying various intervention measures such as information campaigns, voluntary restraint and repairs.
An earlier consultation was held in the Spring to seek the views of user groups and other statutory consultees on what restrictions, if any, they would prefer. The majority – including parish councils and walking, horse-riding and environmental groups - urged a permanent exclusion of motorised traffic.
The Peak and Derbyshire Vehicles User Group recommended peak time exclusions and the Trail Riders Fellowship urged repairs and maintenance first, followed by alternative methods of management.
The committee undertook lengthy site visits before taking its decision, and representatives from user groups, parish councils and residents spoke at the meeting.
Committee chair Christopher Pennell said: “After taking into consideration all the views expressed, we consider that the continued use by recreational vehicles on these routes would have an adverse impact on their natural beauty, which includes the landscape, wildlife and heritage, and on the amenity value for the majority of people who want to use the routes.
“Therefore we wish to seek the public’s views on proposals that recreational motorised traffic should be excluded from the full length of the Long Causeway and from the Pennine Bridleway section of the Roych.”
Long Causeway is a 3.6km former packhorse route between Redmires reservoir on the outskirts of Sheffield and Dennis Knoll, on the North Lees estate above Hathersage. It passes through internationally protected wildlife and geological areas, including a Special Area of Conservation, a Special Protection Area, a Site of Special Scientific Interest and the Dark Peak Nature Improvement Area.
The 4.2km section of the Roych that is proposed for restrictions is part of the Pennine Bridleway – a national trail dedicated principally for the enjoyment of horse-riders, but also used by walkers and cyclists.
It passes through farmland beneath the scenic Rushup Edge as well as a Special Area of Conservation, a Special Protection Area, a Site of Special Scientific Interest and the Dark Peak Nature Improvement Area. It also passes close to bronze age archaeological remains.
It is expected that the consultation will start in the autumn and last for six weeks.
See www.peakdistrict.gov.uk/vehicles for information on recreational vehicle use.
Media inquiries to: Barbara Crossley, communications officer, Peak District National Park Authority, 01629 816389 or email@example.com