Council stands ground over A57 Snake Pass closure following mass trespass

Derbyshire County Council has stood firm over the closure of the A57 Snake Pass following a spate of landslides – despite a mass trespass by around 100 cyclists and walkers at the weekend.

By Christina Massey and Katrina Taylor
Thursday, 17th March 2022, 12:46 pm

The demonstration over the closure of the Peak District road took place on Saturday, March 12, organised by cyclist Harry Gray.

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PICTURES: Angry cyclists take part in mass 'trespass' to protest Snake Pass clos...

It was organised the day after High Peak councillors Ruth George, Damien Greenhalgh and Anne Clarke wrote an open letter to Derbyshire County Council’s Executive Director of Place Chris Henning requesting parts of it be reopened, claiming they had been inundated with complaints.

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A spokesperson said: “The weekend before last the sheer number of cyclists, many in very large groups, riding the A57 Snake Pass along with residents’ cars, road maintenance and farm vehicles meant it was simply not safe.

“As a result, we had to take the difficult decision to extend the closure of Snake Pass to cyclists and walkers in addition to the existing closure to vehicles, other than residents’ and highways maintenance vehicles.

The protest was organised using social media and posters

“We completely understand the attraction of the road to the cycling community and we did not take the decision to close lightly, but our duty to people’s safety has to come first.

“Our estimate is that around 100 cyclists and walkers chose to ignore the Snake Pass road closure signs on Saturday.”

For the time being, the council has asked visitors to attend some of the other attractions and beauty spots the county has to offer.

The spokesperson continued: “We will continue to work to try to balance the needs and safety of cyclists, motorists, walkers, local residents, visitors, farmers and businesses.

Snake Pass protesters set off

“As work to assess and mend this significant landslip carries on, we will continue to keep under review if any sections of the road are safe to open.

“It is a very complex operation because the landslip is still moving and we thank everyone for their ongoing patience.”

Last week, Coun Nigel Gourlay, one of the council representatives for the area, said: “I have received emails and phone calls from cyclists, walkers, and local residents living on the Snake.

“I can see the frustration and anger that has appeared since the sudden closure – however, this road has been closed for safety reasons, and I would plead with cyclists to use common sense when entering a zone that has been declared dangerous.”

Protesters set off from Norfolk Square this afternoon
Harry Gray organised the protest, and addressed the crowd before setting off.
Even the young ones got involved.
Cyclists were protesting the closure of the popular route.
Around 12 miles of Snake Pass has been closed
Snake Pass 'mass trespass'
Snake Pass protesters in Norfolk Square, Harry Gray addresses local media before the start.
Protesters gather in Norfolk Square
The council has stood firm over the closure of the A57 Snake Pass following a spate of landslides – despite a mass trespass by around 100 cyclists and walkers at the weekend.
The demonstration over the closure of the Peak District road took place on Saturday (March 12), organised by cyclist Harry Gray.