Now is probably as good as time as any to give an update on the 22% Campaign. As you remember we asked you for routes that you would like to see upgraded to allow access for mountain bikers – you didn’t disappoint with a total of 79 suggestions.
Suggestions covered most of local authorities that fell into the Peak District, with most of the suggested routes being in the Derbyshire County Council area. Each suggestion was checked against each local authority’s definitive map to check whether they had already been suggested for upgrade. As you can imagine this cross-referencing was a time-consuming task as each local authority operated a slightly different system for managing rights of way. Derbyshire County Council, Staffordshire County Council and Cheshire East Councils all have a searchable website, Kirklees Metropolitan Borough Council use grid references and Sheffield City Council don’t seem to have an on-line presence at all.
Progress to date
There have been some successes (led by our horse riding friends), including:
- Upgrade of Public Footpath No 13 to a Bridleway – Parish of Eaton and Alsop – https://apps.derbyshire.gov.uk/applications-documents/rights_of_way/Applications/x04173.pdf
- Upgrade of Footpaths Nos 6 (Part) and 7 – Parish of Taddington – https://apps.derbyshire.gov.uk/applications/right-of-way/details.asp?appID=04285
Footpath upgrade suggestions near Taddington
There are several upgrade requests that have been submitted to Derbyshire County Council which we have supported and we get consulted on any suggested upgrade to footpaths or designating new public rights of way.
One of the more interesting potential upgrades is to the route from the road that leads to the Strines from the A57 near Moscar Cottages. This would avoid unnecessary road mileage to access the trail around Whinstone Lee Tor. This is still at the application stage: https://apps.derbyshire.gov.uk/applications-documents/rights_of_way/Applications/x04359.pdf
Another route suggested to be upgraded is in Matlock. I must confess I always thought it was a bridleway – again this is an upgrade which we have supported, again this is at the application stage: https://apps.derbyshire.gov.uk/applications-documents/rights_of_way/Applications/x04279.pdf
Another route going through the system is again in Matlock and it is interesting to see the amount of work that the applicant has undertaken just to get to the application stage: https://apps.derbyshire.gov.uk/applications-documents/rights_of_way/Applications/x04335.pdf
Route Suggestion Stats
Of the 79 route suggestions:
- 53 are solely in the Derbyshire County Council area
- 9 are solely in the Kirklees Council area
- 5 are solely in the Cheshire East Council area
- 2 are solely in Staffordshire County Council area
- 4 are solely in the Sheffield City Council area
- 6 are shared between a combination of Derbyshire, Staffordshire and Cheshire East Council
- Of the 79 suggestions, 10 already have permissive access (predominantly on the Eastern Moors), have been approved for upgrades (around Ashover) or are subject to consultation e.g. Moscar.
Several of the routes that have been suggested – particularly from Rowsley, through Chatsworth and up to Grindleford – are part of a Derbyshire County Council scheme to increase cycle access throughout the county.
In order to progress these routes, we have been in contact with a number of stakeholders including the National Trust (for routes around Lyme Park, Upper Derwent Valley and the Longshaw Estate), Severn Trent Water (Upper Derwent Valley), Eastern Moors Partnership (Eastern Moors) and the Peak District National Park (Goyt Valley).
The feedback has been positive, but we know things can move slowly in the rights of way world. We will share developments as and when we can.
Elmin Pitts Success
Following the success of the work on the Elmin Pitts Farm route we were in the process of arranging a four-way meeting between ourselves, Severn Trent Water, National Trust and the Peak District National Park Authority to identify sustainable new routes in and around the Upper Derwent Valley. The continuation of these talks and the official opening of the Elmin Pitts trail will be rescheduled as soon as we all have some clarity over the current Coronavirus situation.
So, what next?
We have shared the information that you have provided us with the stakeholders to ensure that we not duplicating the work other groups are doing. Unfortunately, the Coronavirus lockdown has prevented us from arranging further meetings but as soon as this is all over we will do, and look at projects that we can move forward.
You can learn more about getting involved in Project 22% and submit your rights of way upgrade suggestions here.
Peak District MTB