4x4s & trail bikes - Stanage Forum voluntary agreement on way?

This is an archived press release

Monday 10 October 2005

10 October 2005

4x4s & trail bikes - Stanage Forum voluntary agreement on way?

Trail bike riders and 4x4 drivers will be among those meeting on October 16 to recommend voluntary speed and safety restrictions on the historic Long Causeway across Stanage Edge.

This close involvement of the public in helping manage Stanage, near Hathersage, has been one of the most successful ways of ensuring safeguards on this hugely important area for wildlife, plantlife, archaeology and leisure, for the past five years.

The three-mile Long Causeway is part of a centuries-old former packhorse route, now designated an unclassified road and therefore legitimate for motor use. It crosses spectacular moorland, owned by the Peak District National Park Authority, of the highest European standard for protection of birds and wildlife. The causeway is also used by walkers, climbers, and birdwatchers, but is currently out-of-bounds for horse riders and disabled users because of its eroded condition.

All users, including trail riders and drivers, are represented on the Stanage Byways Forum, which will meet on Sunday October 16 (2pm-5pm) at Bamford Institute, to draw up agreements for approval by the full Stanage Forum on November 12.

The recommendations for the Long Causeway include:
* A specific code of conduct for all users
* A speed limit of 20mph
* Traffic recording to monitor use
* Limits on group size and frequency
* More signs, education and information about the sensitivity of the area for wildlife/heritage and consideration for other users
* Campaign days to spot-check illegal users
* Keeping to the designated track
* Giving way to other users
* Voluntary action to help repair erosion

The forums also include the National Park Authority, local councillors, police, farmers and conservation organisations, and are open for anyone to attend.

The highways authorities have not taken action to resolve problems on the Long Causeway, therefore the Stanage Forum - set up by the National Park Authority with the British Mountaineering Council in 2000 - is vital in mediating between the different interests and ensuring its long-term protection.

Estate manager Matthew Croney said: "Voluntary agreement on a code of practice is the best method of achieving a workable solution - enforcement does not work, agreement does."

This is an archived press release

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