Fury as Snake Pass near Sheffield is closed due to danger from 'large number of cyclists'

Cyclists have reacted with surprise, anger and dismay after the Snake Pass was closed to ‘all users’ due to the risk of an accident from large numbers of riders.

Wednesday, 9th March 2022, 4:45 pm
Derbyshie County Council announced the A57 was closed to cyclists and walkers days after landslips closed it to cars and lorries.
Derbyshie County Council announced the A57 was closed to cyclists and walkers days after landslips closed it to cars and lorries.

The authority warned it had put up barriers and was monitoring 24 hours a day.

Twitter users immediately demanded an explanation.

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@Derbyshirecc responded: ‘It is for safety reasons. There are still a small number of vehicles, those who live there and our own vehicles. ‘With large numbers of cyclists we don't want an accident. Thanks’.

WHAT EXPLANATION DID THE COUNTY COUNCIL GIVE?

Derbyshire County Council responded: “It is for safety reasons. There are still a small number of vehicles, those who live there and our own vehicles.

“With large numbers of cyclists we don't want an accident. Thanks.”

It added: “Large numbers of cyclists and a few vehicles making it a danger for accidents so that why we are closing it to all users, before an accident happens.”

Snake Pass - damage to the road

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Cyclists immediately contrasted the concern for safety with when it is open to vehicles.

The 11m long Snake Pass is a notorious accident blackspot avoided by the vast majority of riders due to narrow sections, blind bends and fast vehicles.

But without traffic it is hailed as one of Derbyshire’s best rides, attracting people from across the region.

HOW HAVE CYCLISTS REACTED?

Esther Miller said: “My young children are keen cyclists and we were considering going. Would your recommendation be that we will safer when the drivers are back?”

John Lamb said: Q”So if a road already has lots of accidents, would you close it to motorised traffic? Just to be consistent…”

Oxley asked: “Interested to know if we can still ride, cycle or walk up or down the broken road on Mam Tor based off this precedent?”

David Anderson said: “Right now it's the safest it'll EVER be but they don't want to acknowledge that as they've got moaning motorists to deal with.”

Duncan Ramsay said: “Having cycled up Snake Pass over 150 times in the past 3 years, I can verify that being passed by motorcycles at c.100mph and supercar rallies doing the same is fine. But navigating a coned off section of road and watching out for occasional local vehicles is just too dangerous.”

Nick said: “Never felt safer than when I was going along it this weekend, same for everyone else that was on it. Where’s this concern for cyclists safety when the road is open to cars?”

Jim Bell said: “This is really disappointing to hear. There was a festival atmosphere there last weekend, with families and kids as well as lots of cyclists. Why spoil the fun? It’s a rare opportunity for people to enjoy the road when cars can’t.”

HOW LONG WILL IT BE CLOSED?

Last month Derbyshire County Council said the road was to close for at least four weeks following three landslides.

Coun Nigel Gourlay, who represents Chapel and the Hope Valley at DCC, said: “Obviously the residents around the landslips are suffering a great amount of disruption.

“Most are following guidance not to cross the landslips and are taking long detours.”

Last week it was reported that the council needed to wait for the ground to stop moving before it could carry out a proper assessment of the damage and take appropriate action.

The Star has contacted the council for a response.

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