Callow Bank (Parish of Hathersage) is now a bridleway. A public inquiry into the rights of way on it was held at the beginning of October. The bridleway decision came in within a matter of weeks. Such a quick decision is very unusual. It usually takes the best part of three months to get a rights of way public inquiry the decision. The reason for the quick turnaround is that, compared with most inquiries, this one was very straightforward.
All the historic evidence pointed clearly to the track being a bridleway and until the early 2000s there had been scarcely any use by motor bikes and none at all by 4x4s. Around 2007 the route was discovered by 4x4s. They started to use it in large numbers and trashed it. The landowners got fed up and in 2011 they blocked the route by locking a gate. The gate has remained locked ever since.
There was no byway open to all traffic (BOAT) claim on the route. This meant that the date when the rights of way on the track were called into question and for looking back to see if motor vehicles had established a right of way through 20 years use was not a BOAT claim (the usual situation in Derbyshire). It was the date when the gate was locked (ie 2011).
The locking of the gate and the impact of 2006 Natural Environment and Rural Communities (NERC) Act meant an easy win for bridleway. Locking the gate put a stop to any chance of a right of way for motor vehicles based on landowner consent; the NERC Act meant that use of the track by motor vehicles could not count towards creating a right of way through 20 years use. This is because the Act put a stop to motor vehicle use claims extending beyond 2006.
Had there been a BOAT claim on the route, it could have been a different story. Most of the cases we deal with at public inquiry are not like Callow Bank. They concern routes with BOAT claims them which were made by the motor bike lobby in 1985 or 1985 in a deliberate attempt to escape the effects of the NERC Act. In these cases we are dealing with potentially valid 20-year use claims.
PDGLA worked with the Callow Bank landowners to gather and present the key evidence. We are very grateful to them for locking the gate and proving other evidence.
The Peak Park Traffic Regulation Order prohibiting use of the green lane at Wetton Hills by recreational motor vehicles (4x4s, quad bikes, motorised trail bikes) came into force on 8 November. Well done Peak Park.
The Peak Park has confirmed its decision to make a Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) excluding recreational motor bikes and 4x4s rom the route at Wetton Hills at all times. We will let you know when the TRO has come into force. Implementing the Order was held up while Staffordshire CC repaired the route. The Peak Park has now considered the repairs and agreed that they have not changed the nature of the route and have no bearing on whether or not to bring in the TRO.
The Peak Park is having to delay its Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) banning off-roading on the route at Wetton Mills. This is because a) Staffordshire County Council has put its own temporary TRO on the route while it considers possible repairs, and b) highway law (unhelpfully) says that national parks can’t use TROs if there already one in place. The background to all this off-roaders threatening to take Staffs to court if they do not repair the route. We think this is an attempt by off-roading interests to make things as difficult as possible for the Peak Park. The latter is now being tight-lipped about when it expects to be able to ban off-roading on the route.
Derbyshire County Council has agreed to put a Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) on Jacob’s Ladder in Stoney Middleton. The Order came into effect on 2 August. Use of the lane by motor bikes, 4x4s and quad bikes is now a criminal offence. The only exception will be use of the lane by motor vehicle trials where DCC has given prior consent.
DCC is having to repeat its public consultation on the proposed Traffic Regulation Order banning motor vehicles from the lane called Jacob’s Ladder in Stoney Middleton. This is because there was a legal flaw in the consultation DCC ran earlier this year. Everyone who took part in the original consultation now needs to take part all over again if their views are to be taken into account.
Please take part in this new consultation. The Parish Council has been asking for a motor vehicle ban for over 20 years because the lane is dangerous. Its surface, trees, walls, banks and flora have also been severely damaged. Horse riders no longer dare use it.
The consultation is online on the consultation pages of the DCC website.
Please help save this lane.
The Peak Park consulted earlier this year on a Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) for the vulnerable green lane in the Manifold Valley area known as Wetton Mills. They took their final decision on Friday 8 September. They agreed to ban all recreational motor vehicles at all times of the year – a full TRO. The lane goes through an area of landscape, ecological and geological interest of national and international importance. Many thanks to all our supporters who took part in the consultation and helped preserve the peace and tranquillity of this wonderful part of the National Park.
Stoney Middleton parish council has been asking DCC for 25 years for action to deal with the damage, danger and disturbance being caused by motor vehicle use of the lane in the village called Jacob’s Ladder. PDGLA has been supporting their efforts. We are very pleased to report that DCC has decided to consult on a Traffic Regulation Order which, if adopted, will permanently exclude all motor vehicles from the lane. We will let you know when public consultation on the proposed Order starts.
The long awaited Peak Park Traffic Regulation Order on Washgate came into effect on 21 July. Apart from occasional use by two motor bike trials which have been exempted from the Order, use of the route by motor vehicles is now illegal. The route crosses the River Dove on the Derbs/Staffs border. The two vehicle trials drive through it. We Crayfish have been seen in this part of the river.
The Peak Park Authority is to consult on a Traffic Regulation Order for a green lane in Wetton. It is one of the few routes in the National Park used by 4x4s and motor bikes which is still green and grassy. The whole route is in a Site of Special Scientific Interest. It is becomingly increasingly used and damaged by motor vehicles. We will let you know when the public consultation starts. No other new TRO consultations are planned by the Peak Park in the year ahead. This is despite the steady deterioration of many routes and pressure for action from various local communities.