Fury Over Flattening Of Peak District Track
The non-consultative flattening of a classic Peak District track by Derbyshire County Council (DCC) has enraged local outdoor people and mountain bikers in particular, triggering a ‘protest picnic’ at the work-site today.
The track, which leads from the crest of Rushup Edge down to the Edale Road near the junction with the Roych, is a continuation of Chapel Gate and technically a BOAT – Byway Open to All Traffic – which means its maintenance falls under the remit of Derbyshire County Council rather than the Peak District National Park Association.
Bikers are bemused at the work, since bluntly speaking, there was nothing wrong with the bedrock-based track in the first place and it formed an entertaining, though far from extreme section of one of the classic Peak District mountain biking loops.
Contractors have already filled-in a series of bedrock steps with medium-sized rubble and appear to be in the process of adding a top surface to create a sanitised, smooth top surface that seems quite at odds with the original trail and dull for biking, walking or running.
Paul Richardson, chair of Peak District MTB, a group which represents mountain bikers in the area is quietly dismayed at the work describing it as ‘heavy handed and out of keeping with the landscape that both residents and visitors have come to love’.
‘The wild and worn nature of the trails is part of the adventure of getting out into the hills, riding and walking on a smooth and flat surface can be done in an urban park landscape,’ he says and expresses the fear that continued work of this type will have a knock-on effect on local businesses by reducing the number of outdoor visitors to the area.