You may not realise but the Peak District doesn’t end at Langsett or the Woodhead pass, it extends north into the beautiful rolling hills around Holmfirth. Whilst the area is perhaps more famous amongst roadies because of the Holme Moss climb (a mini-Alpe-d’Huez with flatcaps and whippets) it has some cracking routes, like this one I rode a few weeks ago (Digley Reservoir Route click here).
Our northern members made us aware of some resurfacing that’s occurred on a bridleway on the north side of Digley reservoir that is popular with bikers. It’s a pretty, historical bridleway and I’d urge you to visit and ride it. It’s not just us that like it: Kirklees council recognise that this bridleway needs protecting because there aren’t many to choose from in the area.
We’re told a contractor for Yorkshire Water dumped a lot of fine non-local grit over what was a perfectly good, bedrock bridleway. We popped up to have a look a few weeks ago. It’s the same story we’ve seen further south: the loose, fine rock is already blocking the drains and potholes and ruts have appeared within weeks of the work. Not only does it look dreadful, this type of work is totally unsuitable for this area and we’re worried it will become hazardous over the winter.
We’ve asked the council for more details about why this has happened, and what oversight and permissions they had. You can read our letter – Click here for pdf. We’ve also asked to be consulted on this type of work and we’re keen to talk to anyone who will listen about biking. You can read our letter here. We’ve asked for it put back in its former condition. As this is Yorkshire Water’s doing, Yorkshire Water should pay for this rather than the council. But as a Yorkshire Water customer you’ll forgive me for being cross that they are literally pouring money down the drain, which will eventually be reflected in our water bills.
This is a developing story and we’ll keep you informed. What is really important though is that this is member led: it was Peak District MTB members that got in contact with us, showed us the area and gave us the insight into the impact of this work. You are our eyes around the park: much as we’d love to be riding all day and all night to check the trails, sometimes the committee needs to do other things!
If you come across something like this, get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org. It’s helpful to send us pictures, details of the route and any other background which helps our case.
If you want to show your support for this bridleway, please drop the following people a quick email. Don’t be shy, you pay their salaries!
If you live or ride in the area, check out pathwatch.blog which keeps up to date with these sort of issues.