This is an archived press release
Tuesday 15 June 2004
15 June 2004
NATIONAL PARK AUTHORITY WELCOMES PUBLICATION OF RAIL STUDY
The Peak District National Park Authority has welcomed today's publication of a feasibility study into the possible re-opening of the Matlock to Buxton rail link.
The 18-month study was commissioned by Derbyshire County Council, and the National Park Authority - one of 14 funding partners - contributed £10,000 towards the cost.
The report highlights concerns surrounding the environmental and economic impact of re-opening the line. It states that it would not be financially viable to open the line by 2011, although it recommends safeguarding the route for possible future use.
The county council is currently inviting comments on the report before deciding how to proceed.
The National Park Authority's Policy Committee will meet in July to agree the Authority's formal response to the consultation.
Chair of the Peak District National Park Authority's Policy Committee, Adrian Brown, said: "We are pleased that the report is now in the public domain and we would encourage people to look at it and take part in the consultation process.
"When the study was commissioned we were concerned that it should take full account of nature conservation, landscape and recreation issues along with the potential benefits to traffic and transport.
"We are confident that all of these issues have been taken on board in the report and the recommendations will now be discussed by our members.
"Problems caused by transport in the National Park, such as congested roads and pollution, are amongst the major challenges facing us all. The possible re-opening of the rail line is just one of a range of options, and we remain committed to working in partnership with others to develop sustainable solutions."
The Monsal Trail, a recreation route for local people and visitors - opened in 1983 by the National Park Authority on the trackbed of the former Matlock to Buxton / Chinley line - would be displaced if the railway were to be reinstated.
If the consultants' findings are subsequently endorsed following public consultation, the National Park Authority will be able to continue to promote this safe and peaceful trail for the foreseeable future.