Transport is an important aspect of life in the Peak District National Park for visitors, residents and businesses. The Peak District is within one hour’s drive of 16 million people, and around 85% of visits to the national park are made by car, which places significant pressure on the environment.
There is a core network of public transport routes to access the national park by bus and rail, plus a number of traffic-free trails that are suitable for walkers, cyclists and horse riders.
Our transport role in the Peak District
The Peak District National Park Authority is not a highway authority and has no transport powers; we seek to influence and work proactively with our partners and those who do have powers to have a positive impact on transport within the national park.
The Sustainable Transport Action Plan
The Sustainable Transport Action Plan (STAP) 2012-2017 was a strategic document that outlined the Authority’s and partners' aspirations for transport in the Peak District. In 2015 the STAP was updated to take into account the outcomes of the Travel Summit that convened that year.
The STAP set out a number of practical actions to be delivered, including:
- Take opportunities to research, and if possible use existing mechanisms, to implement a ‘one-stop-shop’ website for sustainable travel (including purchasing travel and visitor attraction tickets) within the Greater Peak District. This ambition is on-going.
- Develop a National Park wide Transport Infrastructure Design Guide. This has been achieved with the introduction of the Transport Design Guide supplementary planning document in 2019.
- Complete the White Peak Loop, so there is a loop of cycle trails including links to Buxton and Matlock. The White Peak Loop between Matlock and Rowsley is complete; work to link the Monsal Trail with Buxton and Matlock is on-going.
- Further develop the Greentraveller sustainable visitor travel product to provide a high quality visitor travel experience. This has been achieved with the introduction of the Hope Valley Explorer visitor travel experience in 2019.
- Take opportunities to assist in developing low cost product interventions on existing bus services, for example, branding and livery, audio commentary and promotional materials. This has been achieved, for example with the branded 218 PeakLine bus service and more recently by the Hope Valley Explorer, with bespoke branding and the development of an audio commentary and promotional materials.
The principles of the STAP continue to contribute to the delivery of the transport components of the Authority’s National Park Management Plan. It also supports the delivery of the transport policies outlined in the Local Plan, which addresses the land use planning issues of travel and transport.
A replacement ‘STAP‘ is under development. The Peak District National Park Authority is currently reviewing its strategic and policy aims regarding a wider sustainable travel approach in conjunction with climate change and low carbon agendas. One aim is to encourage a travel hierarchy, for example active travel, sustainable public transport and green car travel.