Derbyshire County Council puts out new statement ahead of 'mass trespass' on Snake Pass tomorrow

Officials who banned bicycles from the Snake Pass have urged riders to observe the Highway Code if attending a ‘mass trespass’ on the closed road.

Friday, 11th March 2022, 5:02 pm

Derbyshire Council put out a statement reiterating that it closed the A57 over concern about accidents due to a ‘very large numbers of cyclists’ who were not expecting to meet any vehicles. And it again asked people not to use it.

WHAT’S DIFFERENT ABOUT THIS STATEMENT?

But it added: “We’d ask anyone planning to go to the Snake Pass tomorrow, if they decide to ignore the road closed signs, to please take care as the road is still being driven on by those who live on it.

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Derbyshire Council put out a statement reiterating that it was concerned about accidents due to ‘very large numbers of cyclists’ who were not expecting to meet any vehicles. Pic Andy Flint

“We’d also remind them to please adhere to the Highway Code.”

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The road was closed last month due to three land slips affecting short sections of the scenic 11-mile route.

Normally shunned by cyclists as too dangerous - it is busy, fast, bendy and narrow - it immediately created one of the country’s best rides.

The road was closed last month due to three land slips affecting short sections of the 11m route. Pic: Andy Flint.

County Councillors said they were ‘inundated’ with complaints about the full closure.

WHICH COUNCILLORS ARE CALLING FOR THE ROAD TO REOPEN?

Couns Ruth George, Damien Greenhalgh and Anne Clarke wrote an open letter to Chris Henning, executive director of place, urging the county council to reopen the ‘many miles of road that can be used by cyclists and pedestrians’ so people could ‘enjoy this scenic and spectacular route which they are usually prevented from accessing by the dangers from traffic’.

They added: “Local residents and people from further afield cannot see the reasoning behind shutting the whole road, and many are angry at being prevented from accessing it.

A ‘mass trespass’ of cyclists is expect to set off at 2pm on Saturday from Square West, Glossop.

“We urge you to rethink this decision urgently and look at a compromise which will prevent access to the unsafe sections but enable the safe use of the rest of the road by cyclists and pedestrians, alongside the few vehicles which are permitted to do so.”

WHEN IS THE MASS TRESPASS?

A ‘mass trespass’ of cyclists is expect to set off at 2pm on Saturday from Square West, Glossop.

The action recalls the Kinder Mass Trespass of 1932 when ramblers defied the Duke of Devonshire to walk on his moors.

Organiser Harry Gray told the Local Democracy Reporting Service he agreed the landslip areas should remain closed for safety.

He added: “However, closing the entire road is unfair and potentially not legal.

“The claim that it is dangerous because of works vehicles is laughable, since the road is one of the most dangerous in the peaks when open to motor vehicles.

“All that is needed is a sign to let people know there is still local traffic using the road."

Reflecting on the outpouring of protest, on Twitter, Helen of the Hills said: “If nothing else this is a resounding slab of evidence for the incredible demand for safe cycling routes.

“Better for people's health and wellbeing, better for the environment. Let's not let it fall on deaf ears.”

Professor Dave Petley, landslide expert at the University of Sheffield, said it was unlikely that cyclists or walkers could trigger further movement.

He added: “Keeping people away from the unstable section of road seems appropriate to me.”

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