Cyclists stage 'trespass' protest over closure of Snake Pass

Credit: Harry Gray

Dozens of cyclists have ridden a stretch of the Snake Pass in Derbyshire to protest over its closure to all vehicles.

The road through the Peak District was shut to motor traffic last month after storm damage caused a number of landslips.

Since then cyclists have been making the most of the lack of cars to ride the road themselves.

But last week the council closed it to cyclists and walkers as well over 'significant concerns about safety' and said only people who live on the route could use it for access.

Organisers say around 100 people attended the protest Credit: Harry Gray

Protesters have called the move shortsighted and on Saturday cycled the route up to the landslip and back from Glossop.

Cyclist Harry Gray, who organised the trespass, said: "It seems to me a bit of an overreaction and they've not really thought through the benefits of allowing people to go up, not just cyclists, there are people walking and running as well, to go up and enjoy the countryside in a place where normally you wouldn't be able to enjoy it because of the amount of traffic there.

"It is a rare opportunity and it's quite sad really that they've tried to take away that opportunity from people who just want to go and enjoy the outdoors. That's all we're trying to do here."

Credit: Harry Gray

Before the protest Derbyshire County Council said it was aware of the plans.

A spokesperson said: “We recognise the attraction of the road and we have not taken the decision to close to all users lightly.

“We welcome cyclists and walkers to Derbyshire but for now we ask that they do not use the Snake Pass and consider one of the many other beautiful places to visit in the county.

“Last weekend we experienced very large numbers of cyclists riding in groups on the road who were not expecting to see traffic and we were concerned that an accident could happen.

"There is still traffic on the road, as people live there and we have vehicles going up to monitor the landslip and carry out other work on other parts of the road."