We met last night with Keeper of the Peak, Ride Sheffield and key contributors to Peak District MTB’s ongoing campaign to discuss what we do next. We agreed we need to pull together across all user groups right now so we’re putting out this joint statement over the Rushup saga, directed principally at Derbyshire County Council.
“We the undersigned wish to object in the strongest terms to the current maintenance program on Rushup Edge. In this environmentally sensitive location, which is protected by various national and international designations, ecological, landscape and amenity considerations must be paramount. Our main objections are as follows:
• The complete lack of consultation with the Peak District National Park Authority, the Local Access Forum and relevant user groups.
• The urbanisation of the Peak. Tracks and trails within the Peak District are by their very nature, rough and natural. It will be a sad day when every trail brings to mind an urban cycle path.
• The effect on the landscape and the National Park’s special qualities. Wide, flat paths do not sit well in the Peak landscape, sticking out, as they do, like the proverbial sore thumb.
• Expense. In these austere times, should such large sums of money be spent on inappropriate and unnecessary repairs to the public rights of way network?
Ride Sheffield, Peak District MTB, Keeper of the Peak (@KoftheP), British Mountaineering Council and Friends of the Peak District/CPRE”
Please feel free to circulate this statement to friends, family, colleagues, social media, press and anywhere else that will help get the message across that this is not just about mountain bikers but about all user groups. We will continue to work with other user groups such as Peak Horsepower who share many of our goals and build a united team that – hopefully – DCC will decide to listen to and consult properly with.
The next step is for us to respond to DCC’s cut and paste reply to many of our emails, Facebook posts and Tweets. We have built up a lot of evidence againt the claims in their statement and will be documenting that, distributing a new survey to multiple user groups to build even more support and calling for some direct contact between DCC and ourselves. We need to show we can’t simply be fobbed off with a generic statement, that we are to be taken seriously and that we urgently want to be listened to. All of us.
Watch this space and thanks again – from all of us – for your contributions to this effort.