Thanks to ever vigilant Ride Sheffield volunteer Sue Duke, a worrying situation has been brought to our attention on Stanage. Derbyshire County Council (DCC) have begun to resurface the ancient causeway that runs down from Stanage Edge to Dennis Knoll.
As is traditional with any work carried out by DCC, this is a flat-as-a-pancake crushed gritstone top dressing leaving no interest whatsoever for mountain bikers – or anyone else for that matter. This maintenance has been started because an unidentified member of the public has threatened to institute legal action if the byway isn’t brought up to the required ‘safe’ standard. The question is who? Certainly not a mountain biker, walker or trail biker as the current rocky state of the trail probably accords with the wishes of all those user groups. It would be bizarre if the threat were from a 4×4 enthusiast as they also enjoy the causeway for the technicality of the exposed rocks. Perhaps we will find out in due course.
This work is worrying on a number of counts:
1. DCC have a record of not consulting with any user groups before carrying out work, a sorry state of affairs in a national park.
2. The work is going to cost in excess of £250,000 – at a time when libraries and old folks homes are facing closure, a shocking waste of public money.
3. The repairs may be utterly redundant. The Peak District National Park Authority is debating whether to enforce a permanent Traffic Regulation Order order banning all motorised vehicles. Does the right hand know what the left is doing we might ask?
4. The revetment repairs will replace a, (to my eyes at least), beautiful piece of ancient stonework with something which is, and I quote, “..more engineered..”
5. Visually, this is utterly misplaced in a National Park.
In order to make life as uncomfortable as possible for DCC, please feel free to email them at Enquiries: Leisure and culture – Derbyshire County Council . Also, contact any local press who might be interested in this flagrant waste of public money.