Long Causeway Vehicle Ban Set in Stone

The Peak District National Park Authority is to permanently prevent motor vehicles from using the Long Causeway at Stanage to protect, they say, the national park’s special qualities.

Off-roaders busy destroying the newly-repaired Causeway, 65 kb
Off-roaders on the newly repaired Causeway. Photo: Simon Caldwell, Aug 2008

Members of the Authority’s Audit, Resources and Performance committee decided that a permanent Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) is necessary to 'conserve nature and the quiet enjoyment of the wild landscape'.

The decision follows a public consultation last year in which the Authority received almost 2,500 responses, with 1127 objecting to the proposed TRO and 1327 supporting a vehicle ban.

Long Causeway runs from Redmires Reservoir on the outskirts of Sheffield, to Stanedge Pole where it crosses the highway authorities’ boundary between Sheffield City Council and Derbyshire County Council. It then descends below Stanage Edge to Dennis Knoll. The route has long been popular with a cross section of user groups from the petrol powered to the pedestrian.

Those who've followed the long saga of recreational vehicles on Long Causeway could be forgiven for finding this all a little strange. As recently as spring of this year Derbyshire County Council undertook some extensive resurfacing work on the Long Causeway at a cost of about £235,000 (see news here) in order to maintain the byway to a 'suitable standard' for all users - including vehicles. But now the National Park Authority are banning vehicles. Does one hand know what the other is doing?   

Three members of the public spoke at the meeting representing the Peak District Local Access Forum, Peak District Green Lanes Alliance, the Trail Riders Fellowship and Peak District and Derbyshire Vehicle User Group.

The Peak District National Park Authority’s Audit, Resources and Performance Committee chair, Christopher Pennell, said:

'We have given careful consideration to a range of options including partial restrictions of vehicle access, but, these would not have safeguarded the area’s exceptional natural beauty and internationally important wildlife and habitats.'

'In view of the area’s significant environmental sensitivity and to preserve opportunities for its quiet enjoyment, the committee decided the best option for Long Causeway is to stop vehicles from using it.'

Long Causeway is currently subject to a temporary restriction, by Derbyshire County Council, on vehicles (over 1.5m width) until March 2015, or until their planned repairs are completed. The National Park Authority’s TRO will need to take this into account.

The exclusion does not include wheelchairs or electric disability scooters and Trampers.

Vehicles are also to be prohibited along the entire length of the Roych green lane, near Chapel-en-le-Frith following repairs due in October. The Authority is to make a replacement permanent TRO at the Roych to take effect after Derbyshire County Council, the highway authority, has completed its repairs. The replacement TRO will take the place of the one made in September.

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