There’s a consensus forming against the, currently paused, work being carried out on Rushup Edge by Derbyshire County Council, and it’s good to see support for mountain bikers’ concerns from other bodies. Here’s the latest update as published by Ride Sheffield…
Open Letter to Derbyshire County Council
We the undersigned wish to object in the strongest terms to the current maintenance program on Rushup Edge. In this environmentally sensitive location, which is protected by various national and international designations, ecological, landscape and amenity considerations must be paramount Our main objections are as follows:
- The complete lack of consultation with the Peak District National Park Authority, the Local Access Forum and relevant user groups.
- The urbanisation of the Peak. Tracks and trails within the Peak District are by their very nature, rough and natural. It will be a sad day when every trail brings to mind an urban cycle path.
- The effect on the landscape and the National Park’s special qualities. Wide, flat paths do not sit well in the Peak landscape, sticking out, as they do, like the proverbial sore thumb.
- Expense. In these austere times, should such large sums of money be spent on inappropriate and unnecessary repairs to the public rights of way network?
Ride Sheffield, Peak District MTB, @koftheP, British Mountaineering Council and Friends of the Peak District/CPRE
As you can see, both the British Mountaineering Council and Friends of the Peak District/CPRE have put their names to the statements, two organisations that very much have the best interests of the national park at heart. Although Peak Horsepower felt unable to sign at this time, we have had supportive comments from a number of individual riders.
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The austerity card is a good one. Get into the local papers and tell them how much their council is WASTING with this unnecessary work.
As someone who does work restoring paths in Derbyshire, please don’t use the austerity card as you say. There are some paths in the PeakDistrict that are in desperate need is sympathetic restoration; the problem on Rushup Edge is not that restoration is being undertaken, but that it is being undertaken unsympathetically without consultation or consideration of all users.
I would back bigchris – the austerity card does need to be played here – unsympathetic restoration of the tracks we and other users like to use are being upgraded to a point that it is angering the electorate – “our” money is being spent inappropriately for what gain – who is benefiting from the work outlined and the works that have already been undertaken – also unsympathetically – the council involved also has a large hole in its budget so it does not make much sense – especially without the consultation works that appear not to have been undertaken
The most important point is the last bit, without consultation. There are paths, both bridle ways and footpaths, that are really wide and eroding and money does need to be spent on them, in order to protect the land next to them and to create a sustainable surface. Obviously this route, where all users are coming out and saying that it is being done inappropriately, should not have been done like this.
Just to be clear, I’m not saying that DCC were right in this case, but there are many paths where the money spent here could have been spent better and completely appropriately.