New Sheffield to Manchester bus service delayed by huge queues in Peak District

Calls have been made for motorists to be more “respectful” in the Peak District after a brand new bus service faced long delays due to parked and queuing cars blocking the route.

By Lloyd Bent
Friday, 30th October 2020, 8:53 am

The SnakeX57 bus service, which runs between Sheffield and Manchester, experienced 20 minute delays at the weekend (October 25) due to half-mile queues for Fairholmes visitor centre car park on the A57, in spite of signs telling motorists it was already full.

Cars that had been unable to get into the car park were also queued up along the side of the road, parked on double yellow lines, making it difficult for buses to pass.

On Sunday, Hulleys of Baslow, which operates the bus, posted on Facebook to apologise for the delays, and asked the Peak District National Park Authority and Severn Trent if they could work to resolve the issue.

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Traffic blocking the road as it queues to get into the full car park at Fairholmes Visitor Centre

Alf Crofts, managing director of Hulleys said: “There were some issues on Sunday with poorly managed parking on the road to the Fairholmes visitor centre and we are liaising with Severn Trent about resolving this.

"There are also three sets of temporary traffic lights on the Snake Pass which, we are assured, will soon be removed. More widely, as with any new service we are monitoring it's running times and should there be a need for some minor tweaking then we will do so to maintain reliability."

This was the first day of operation of the SnakeX57 service, which runs along the A57 and attracted widespread praise from passengers in spite of the delays.

The new SnakeX57 bus service being launched by Hulleys of Baslow connects Sheffield and Manchester with popular Peak District walking destinations including the Ladybower Reservoir

Responding to the traffic issues, a spokesman for the National Park Authority said: “When public car parks at Fairholmes in the Upper Derwent Valley are at full capacity, this is clearly stated with signage at the entrance to the site on the A57.

"We ask that visitors travelling by car do not attempt to access the site or wait in their vehicle on the road itself, when car parks are shown as full.

"Double yellow lines are in place on both the A57 and Derwent Lane, and parking is not permitted on either side of double-yellow lines. Fixed penalty notices are not issued by the National Park Authority, but patrols may be in place from the relevant enforcement bodies.

“The National Park strongly supports sustainable transport solutions such as the X57Snake, and ask that car users respect highways access throughout the Peak District, to allow public transport to operate safely and efficiently, benefiting both visitors and local communities.”

A spokesperson for Derbyshire County Council, which is responsible for the road, added: “We are liaising with partners to get the road swept as often as is possible so people can see the parking restrictions clearly.

"We also carry out parking enforcement in the area, which we have increased in several rural areas this year due to more people getting out and about in the countryside.”

The SnakeX57 runs from Sheffield Interchange to Chorlton Street in Manchester, stopping at Crosspool, Ladybower Inn, Snake Inn, Glossop and Hollingworth, with the full journey scheduled to take 90 minutes.