Click below to access the latest status on all Peak Horsepower bridleway projects
Peak Park to change its strategy on offroading
Great news. The PDNPA has decided to review its policy and strategy on offroading. A meeting of their Audit Committee decided on 15 July 2011 that their current efforts to control offroading are failing to protect either the Peak Park or the public. There is to be a full-scale review, led by Members themselves, not by the Peak Park officers or the Local Access Forum, who take the extraordinary view that the current strategy is working. They also called for more resources to deal with the problem.
The change of heart comes after intensive lobbying by PHP and other groups in the Peak District Green Lanes Alliance. It should lead in time to Traffic Regulation Orders banning 4x4s and trail bikes from key routes. But we are not complacent. We must make sure that officers of the Peak Park do not undermine Members’ determination to change track.
PHP made two submissions to the Committee: our report called The Effects of Off-road Vehicles on Horse Riding in the Peak District National Park and a three minute speech at the committee hearing.
Chapel Gate TRO lifted as PDNPA loses in the high court - November 2012
The Peak Park has lost the high court action brought against it by the Trail Riders Fellowship (the motor bike lobby) about the experimental traffic regulation order (TRO) which it has been using on Chapel Gate. The court agreed that PDNPA had perfectly good grounds for an experimental TRO and that they were conducting a genuine experiment. The Authority lost because they failed to draft the TRO order correctly. The Yorkshire Dales National Park lost a high court case on similar technical grounds. We would have expected PDNPA to have learned from that experience and to have got the order right. The PDNPA committee which deals with TROs will be deciding what to do next about Chapel Gate at its January meeting. The PDNPA press release is at http://www.peakdistrict.gov.uk/news/current-news/disappointment-at-chapel-gate-court-ruling
Peak Park poised to ban off-road vehicles on two routes - July 2012
It has been a long time coming, but campaigners against the dangers faced by horse riders and others from off-road motor bikes, 4x4s and quad bikes have persuaded the Peak District National Park Authority (PDNPA) to do something about two iconic high-level routes in Derbyshire.
One route is The Roych, a remote part of the Pennine Bridleway near Chapel-en-le Frith. The other is Long Causeway, a magnificent moorland trail which crosses the famous Stanage Edge and links Sheffield with the lanes and bridleways of the Derbyshire Dales.
Both routes have been badly damaged by off-road vehicles and both are dangerous places to meet an off-road vehicle if you are on a horse. Riders at the Derbyshire end of Long Causeway have been unable to use it for over 10 years. Riders who try to use The Roych are shocked and scared by what they find when the get there.
PDNPA has signalled its intention to use of Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs) to exclude all types of recreational motor vehicle from both routes. But before it makes its final decision it must by law consult on its intentions. The dates of the two public consultations have not been announced yet but will take place this autumn. They will last six weeks.
If you are concerned about the dangers faced by horse riders from off-road vehicles and if you live in the Peak District, you might want to know about the Peak District Green Lanes Alliance. The Alliance is leading the campaign to get 4x4s, trail bikes and quad bikes banned wherever they are a danger to other people or where they are damaging the environment. The Peak Horsepower bridleway group is a key member of the Alliance. You can find out more at www.pdgla.org.uk
Bradley Lane bridleway victory - January 2103
After a long struggle lasting many years, Bradley Lane Pilsley has been saved from destruction by 4x4s and motor bikes. The public inquiry held in October into whether or not motor vehicles have the legal right to use the lane has found that they do not. Bradley Lane is to become a bridleway. Pilsley residents had been campaigning for over 10 years to get DCC to put a traffic regulation order (TRO) on the lane to stop offroaders from using it on safety and environmental grounds. A TRO will not now be needed to get rid of the 4x4s and trail bikes.
The focus will switch to getting DCC to put in vehicle barriers to stop any future illegal use of the lane by offroaders. Many thanks to Diana Mallinson of the Peak District Green Lanes Alliance and to Patricia Stubbs of Peak Horsepower for the immense amount of work which went into this three-day public inquiry, and also to Pilsley residents for the evidence that defeated offroader claims to have established vehicle rights through 20 years uninterrupted use. PHP members gave evidence about public nuisance and danger for horse riders . If anyone is interested in helping with evidence gathering for public inquiries into BOAT claims, please let us know. It is a vital activity and we need more people to get involved. Even where we don't win, the evidence gathered about public nuisance is invaluable for building a case for a TRO.
Hollinsclough group - January 2013
Residents in the Hollinsclough area on the Staff/Derbyshire border are getting together to start campaigning for a Traffic Regulation Order to put a stop to 4x4s and trail bikes using the lanes which make up the clough. If any PHP members would like to involved, please let us know and we will put you in touch. Email us at [email protected]
Off-road vehicles banned from The Roych on the Pennine Bridleway! January 2014
Peak Park bans 4x4s, quads and trail bikes from Roych and Chapel Gate
The Peak District has at last got its first Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs). PDNPA decided on 24 January to use TROs to permanently exclude all types of motor vehicle from two of the most important, and most damaged, green lanes in the Peak District: the Roych – part of the Pennine Bridleway near Rushup Edge, and Chapel Gate, the high level track which links Edale with Chapel-en-le Frith. This will make a tremendous difference to riders in the area as it will mean these historic riding routes being once again safe to ride. It also means that peace and tranquillity will be restored to these two precious areas of the National Park.
These are just two of the 36 green lanes on the Peak Park list of those needing intervention and protection because of the damage, danger and disturbance caused by motor vehicles.
Peak Horsepower submits evidence to the Joint Parliamentary Committee on the Draft Deregulation Bill calling for the law to be changed to prevent off-road vehicles using unsurfaced green lanes – September 12th 2013
The summary of Peak Horsepower’s evidence is given below. You can download the full report here.
This evidence from Peak Horsepower, a bridleways group affiliated to the British Horse Society, relates to the use of land and rights of way section of the Draft Bill. Our evidence shows how an addition to the Bill to restrict motorised vehicle use of unsealed rights of way will achieve two of the key objectives of the Bill:
• Making life easier for civil society and
• Reducing bureaucratic requirements on public bodies.
Currently, the use of unsealed rights of way (often also known as green lanes) by motorised vehicles is causing severe damage to surfaces making them dangerous for horses and also for cyclists and walkers. There are further dangers when horse riders meet motorised vehicles on often narrow lanes where visibility is poor. We present evidence relating to these dangers in the Peak District National Park and how important these routes are for horse riders. We also give links to YouTube videos made by off-road vehicle users which illustrate just how the damage is caused and dangers created.
There is considerable public support for restricting the use of motorised vehicles on unsurfaced roads which the Peak District National Park Authority has recognised and is considering restricting traffic use on some routes. However, the legislation allowing Highway and National Park Authorities to restrict the use of motorised vehicles is cumbersome, time consuming and expensive. Each route has to be considered one at a time and, for the Peak District National Park alone, we estimate it will take between 15 and 210 years for traffic restriction orders to be considered on all of the routes with current levels of expenditure. We also estimate that it could take 80 years in one Derbyshire District alone before the legal status of many lanes is determined based on current rates of progress. We describe the processes involved and how impractical and burdensome for participants they are.
By including in the Deregulation Bill the additions being put forward by the Peak District Green Lanes Alliance, the bureaucratic requirements on Highway and other authorities would be hugely reduced. Furthermore, because there is a lot of illegal use of Restricted Byways and bridleways by off-road vehicles and enforcement is made difficult because the status of many lanes is unclear, simplifying the classification as proposed would also make policing much easier because it is the surface, not an interpretation of historical use that will determine legality.
Proposed addition to Deregulation Bill
Peak Horsepower supports the following proposals:
Unsealed Unclassified County Roads (UUCRs) not on the definitive map and statement to be added as Restricted Byways to the definitive map and statement on the date of commencement.
Unsealed Byways Open to all Traffic (BOATs) to be re-graded as Restricted Byways on the definitive map and statement on the date of commencement.
Provision for access for property owners’ and emergency services’ vehicles should be included.
An additional benefit of such changes to legislation would be costs savings for Highway Authorities who have a legal obligation to repair damage caused by vehicles on unsurfaced roads. These costs run into hundreds of thousands of pounds a year in the Peak District alone. For example, Derbyshire County Council (just one of seven separate highway authorities within the National Park) is spending £375,000 repairing damage to green lanes in the current year financial year and this expenditure is only scratching the surface of the problem. Comparable levels of expenditure on repairing off-roader damage are probably either already being incurred or are needed within the other six highway authority areas.
Peak Horsepower Press release 13th May 3013
Launch of the Kinder Loop – a new 55 mile, long-distance route for riders, cyclists and walkers in the Peak District National Park.
On 3rd June, Peak Horsepower (1) launches ‘The Kinder Loop’ – a challenging new long-distance route for riders, cyclists and walkers. Passing through some of England’s most dramatic scenery, it encircles Kinder Scout in the Peak District National Park using existing bridleways, lanes, the Pennine Bridleway and the Trans-Pennine Trail (2).
Cosima Towneley will ‘open’ the Kinder Loop at ‘The No Car Café’ at Rushop Hall on Monday June 3rd (3). Cosima is a keen promoter of equestrian access both through her work with the British Horse Society and as a local councillor. She is also the daughter of Mary Towneley who, in September 1986, highlighted the poor state of our bridleways and campaigned for a long-distance route for horse-riders by riding with two friends from Hexham in Northumberland to Ashbourne in Derbyshire. This eventually led to the Pennine Bridleway being established - a 205 mile National Trail with horse riding at its heart (4).
Cosima Towneley said “Through the Kinder Loop, Peak Horsepower is fulfilling my mother’s overarching idea of which the Pennine Bridleway was but one part: build the arterial routes so others can make the links. It is wonderful to see the emergence of routes joining parishes, districts and counties and to ensure equestrian access which remains so vital to our economic, recreational and historical wellbeing today”.
Wendy Neilson, Chair of Peak Horsepower said “Peak Horsepower hopes this new long distance route will provide people with a wonderful riding experience in the Peak District that they will remember forever. As increasing traffic on our roads restricts access to safe riding, it is important that we develop routes that allow our sport to continue. We hope the Kinder Loop will also be enjoyed by cyclists and walkers”.
“None of this would have been possible without the support of Hoof Funding from Sport England, The British Equestrian Federation and the British Horse Society together with encouragement and practical help from the Peak District National Park Authority”.
Further information from: [email protected]
Photo opportunity: There will be an opportunity to photograph riders on the route after the launch.
Press are welcome to join us at the launch to be held on Monday 3rd June at 10.30 for an 11.00am start at the ‘No Car Café’, Rushop Hall, Rushup Lane, Rushup, near Chapel en le Frith, SK23 0QT. On this special occasion, parking will be available in a field above the venue.
Notes to Editors
1. Peak Horsepower is a bridleways group affiliated to the British Horse Society and works to improve access to safe, off-road riding in the Peak District National Park. See www.peakhorsepower.co.uk
2. For detailed maps and further descriptions see the Kinder Loop section of the Peak Horsepower web site: http://www.peakhorsepower.co.uk/#/kinder-loop/4564966794
3. See: http://www.rushophall.com/
Proposed ban on motor vehicles using Chapel Gate - May 2013
We are nearly there on Chapel Gate (the high level riding route linking Chapel-en-le-Frith with Edale). The Peak Park Authority is now consulting the public on its intention to permanently ban 4x4s, quads and motor bikes from using the route. We need as may riders as possible, and as many people who care about the Peak District as possible, to take part in the consultation and support the proposed vehicle ban.
Taking part in the consultation is very easy.
All the background documents and an online response form are on the Peak Park website at http://consult.peakdistrict.gov.uk/details.cfm?TROID=6
Please take part in the consultation and support the vehicle ban. The consultation lasts until 28 June, but don't delay - please do it now!
Hot News for Derbyshire Riders - Curbar and Froggatt Edges now open to horse-riders
Curbar and Froggatt Edges, the iconic gritstone cliffs with spectacular views, are now open to horse riders. There is a new bridlegate at Curbar Gap (near the car park) so you can now ride northwards along the tops of Curbar Edge and Froggatt Edge on a concessionary bridleway that follows the line of a public footpath. A locked gate across the track near the stone cricle is still blocking a short section of the route but this will be replaced with a new bridlegate later this April. Then in Agust a new bridlepath will be created at the far end of the Froggatt Edge route, giving us safer access on to the public road (A625) that leads up to the Grouse Pub nd from there to the public brd;eways near White Edge. Meanwhile riders can enjoy 2.25 miles of conessionary bridleway along the Edges.
Vehicles now banned on Chapel Gate
The Peak Park Traffic Regulation Order banning 4x4s and motor bikes from Chapel Gate came into effect on 22 May. This means an end to motor vehicles damaging the track and the restoration of peace and quiet above the Edale Valley. It also means an end to horse riders having to contend with danger from offroad vehicles on this route. Many thanks to all the riders who took part in the public consultation and supported the TRO.
Bradley Lane, Pilsley confirmed as a bridleway by the High Court! January 2015
After two public inquiries and a High Court action brought by the Trail Riders Federation ( a trail bike riders group), Bradley Lane, Pilsley has finally been confirmed as a bridleway. This means only walkers, cyclists and horse riders can use the lane, not motor vehicles. The High Court dismissed the TRF’s legal action which tried to overturn the original bridleway decision. The case was heard at the beginning of December and the judge gave his decision on 26 January which can be read at: http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Admin/2015/85.html
If anyone sees a motor vehicle on Bradley Lane please make a note of the vehicle registration number and report it asap to PC Andy Wordsworth at the Bakewell police station. You can email him at [email protected]
The effort to secure the lane as a bridleway was led by the Peak District Green Lanes Alliance with support from Peak Horsepower, local residents and local horse riders.
Peak Horsepower calls on new Peak District 4x4 company to stick to sealed roads. 16th February 2016
Peak Horsepower is dismayed that a company is being set up in the Hope Valley which will be offering off-road trips in 4x4s.
Peak Horsepower Chairwoman Wendy Neilson says:
'We were horrified to read of a new business set up to offer “off-road” experiences in the Peak District National Park. Horse riders are all too aware of the destruction caused by motorised vehicles on unsurfaced routes. All over the National Park riding routes are being destroyed. So much damage is being done that we can no longer ride some routes because the surfaces are no longer safe.
'As well as the risk of injury from damaged surfaces, horse riders run the risk having accidents caused by vehicles coming too fast on narrow lanes with blind bends.
'Our green lanes were never intended to be used by motorised vehicles in the way they are now. They were for horses and carts, not for heavy, powerful modern motor vehicles. Businesses such as this further endanger their survival'.
Read the Press Release here