Good news over at Chapel Gate! The Peak District National Park Authority has just made a Traffic Regulation Order which means that no recreational motor vehicles (4x4s and trail bikes) can use it from the end of August until the end of February 2013.
During the 18 month trial ban the Park Authority will assess how successful it is in conserving the landscape, and decide whether to make it permanent.
We have been lobbying for the Park Authority to close this iconic 3km route to off-roaders. Chapel Gate skirts Rushup Edge and runs along a high ridge crossing a Special area of Conservation, a Special Protection Area and a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Over the years it has been carved up and rutted by vehicles, making people deviate onto the fragile habitats along the side of the track.
Chapel Gate has been repaired and the Park Authority is monitoring how many people are using it now.
We want to see this ban made permanent. Meanwhile, it’s really important that walkers, cyclists and horse-riders use Chapel Gate – sticking only to the track itself and keeping away from land at the side – so that we can show the Park Authority that the ban is working and needed.