The Peak District National Park Authority has made a permanent legal order to exclude trail-bikes and 4x4s from a green lane called Washgate, near Hollinsclough.
The Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) will protect the 1.5km route in Derbyshire and Staffordshire. Washgate crosses the county boundary, at this point the River Dove, at an ancient stone bridge.
The TRO permanently bans motorised vehicles, such as trail bikes and 4x4s, from using Washgate for recreation to safeguard the natural beauty and special characteristics of the landscape and the amenity of the area.
The TRO comes into force today (21 July, 2017). Details of the order can be viewed at www.peakdistrict.gov.uk/tros.
The route can still be accessed on foot, by bicycle, and on horse-back, as well as by farm vehicles used for agricultural purposes.
The TRO has been made after assessing responses to public consultations in 2016, and detailed negotiations with the route’s users.
Significantly it allows two long-established motorcycle trials events to still take place, subject to the National Park’s requirements: these are the Bemrose Trial and Reliance Cup Trial.
Speaking for the Peak District National Park, committee chair Andrew McCloy said:
“It is our primary statutory duty to conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the area, and that outweighs other considerations. Washgate provides access to a relatively hidden area of the national park which is naturally beautiful, contains important wildlife habitats and has historic interest as a pack horse route.
“We have listened to arguments from all sides and on balance decided that the conservation of the natural beauty of this landscape outweighs unrestricted recreational motorised use on Washgate.
“However, after hearing about the importance of motorcycle trials along Washgate, we have allowed two motorcycle events, which have used the route for many years, to continue. These involve close monitoring of the route’s condition before and after and we hope that the understanding and supportive approach already shown by the vehicle organisers for this year’s events will mean that we can work together to care for a route that means so much to so many people.”
The Authority has drawn up action plans to manage its “priority routes” where activities cause most concern. More information is at www.peakdistrict.gov.uk/vehicles.