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Plans to protect unsurfaced rural routes from damage

This is an archived press release

Monday 15 September 2008

15 September 2008

Plans to protect unsurfaced rural routes from damage

Management plans are being drawn up to protect eight of the most sensitive unsurfaced routes in the Peak District National Park from damage caused by 4x4s and trail bikes.

They are the first from a list of 23 countryside routes that have been assessed as being potentially unsustainable unless improvements are made to prevent further damage being caused to the surface.

On each route a comprehensive management action plan is being drawn up to analyse all the issues involved and identify measures and targets to resolve them. Each route will be examined by:

  • Peak District National Park Authority rights of way officers, conservation officers and area rangers
  • A Derbyshire County Council highways engineer
  • The Local Access Forum sub-group, which is made up of motor vehicle user group representatives, other users, landowners and conservationists.

Actions to improve each route could include putting up warning signs, resurfacing the routes, introducing voluntary restraint agreements with motor vehicle users, introducing temporary traffic bans or using traffic regulation orders - which can permanently ban vehicles from a route.

Members of the Peak District National Park Authority’s services committee decided that the first eight routes to be looked at will be:

  • Bradley Lane, Pilsley
  • Brough Lane, Brough / Shatton
  • Chapelgate, Edale/Chinley
  • Long Causeway, Bamford / Sheffield
  • Moorlands Lane, Bonsall
  • School Lane, Great Hucklow
  • Shatton Lane, Brough / Shatton
  • Washgates, Hartington Upper Quarter, Staffordshire

The work will be carried out in partnership with the police, who are responsible for preventing illegal use of land, and Derbyshire and Staffordshire County Councils, who are responsible for maintaining the surface of routes.

Councillor Andrew Marchington, chair of the Peak District National Park Authority’s services committee, said: “We are seeking to find a permanent solution to the problems that exist on these routes and others in the national park.

“By using all the powers at our disposal, and working with our partners, we aim to build a consensus on how these routes can be properly protected while still allowing lawful use of the land by all groups.

“By doing this we hope to solve the problems that exist rather than just move them on to another part of the national park.”

Management plans for the other 15 routes will be drawn up after work on the first eight has been completed.  

Until that happens monitoring will continue on the use of these routes by 4x4s and trail bikes. Any planned work by highways authorities to improve the condition of these routes will also carry on.

The other routes on the list are:

  • Bamford Clough, Bamford
  • Black Harry Lane, Stoney Middleton
  • Clough Wood, Birchover
  • The Cop, Peak Forest
  • Derby Lane, Monyash
  • Hay Dale, Wheston
  • Leys Lane, Little Longstone
  • Minninglow Lane, Ballidon
  • Monksdale Lane, Tideswell
  • Nether Bretton, Eyam
  • Pindale, Castleton
  • Riley Lane, Eyam
  • The Roych, Chinley / Chapel en le Frith
  • Sough Lane, Taddington
  • Upperdale, Brushfield

The management plans all form part of a wider strategy to manage vehicle use in the countryside. This includes:

  • Police operations to stop and prosecute drivers or riders that are illegally using routes where vehicles are banned
  • Working with Derbyshire County Council to get a decision on which routes vehicles are legally allowed to use and those where they are banned from going
  • Producing information to inform all user groups and residents about the work taking place

Further information about this work can be seen by visiting our website at www.peakdistrict.gov.uk/vehicles

This is an archived press release

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