Derbyshire County Council has just announced that Long Causeway is to be legally classified as a Byway Open to All Traffic, or BOAT. The historic three-mile track is part of a centuries-old former packhorse route. It has never been classified before and has therefore always been legitimate for motor use. This new status will continue to give off-roaders the legal right to use it.
Long Causeway crosses Stanage Edge and spectacular moorlands that are highly protected areas for wildlife. It is one of four priority Peak District routes that we have identified as needing the most urgent action.
In some ways this is good news, because it means that the whole question of protecting this iconic green lane is being raised. We can’t argue with the new classification – clearly Long Causeway has been used by horses and carts for centuries so unfortunately, vehicles today have rights there too. But we want this changing! Recreational 4×4 drivers and trail bikers are ripping up this lane, as well as ruining the peace and enjoyment of other people.
We held a protest rally at Long Causeway last summer, demanding that both Derbyshire County Council and the Peak District National Park Authority took action to close the Peak District’s most sensitive tracks to off-roaders. Both authorities are responsible for managing green lanes in the National Park. As a result the Peak District National Park Authority will be looking at vehicle regulation for Long Causeway later this year. We want Derbyshire County Council to follow suit.
Long Causeway should be closed to off-roaders for good. Derbyshire County Council has the power to serve a Traffic Regulation Order here, and that’s what needs to happen.
We have also been lobbying Derbyshire County Council to close Bradley Lane at Pilsley and School Lane at Great Hucklow. Instead of this, the Council has repaired the surface of the lanes. We are really very disappointed about this. It’s a short term and unsustainable solution and we think it’s throwing good money after bad! There are compelling reasons for closing them, and we hope that Derbyshire County Council will do the right thing in the long term for all our of our precious green lanes.