We are delighted that Staffordshire County Council has put in place the first steps towards managing Hollinsclough Rakes – an emergency restriction order preventing anyone from using Limer and Swan Rakes.
These idyllic lanes in the Staffordshire Moorlands District of the Peak National Park were once a packhorse route for the trade of salt. They are now reduced to a rock scramble in places with horse riders, cyclists and walkers unable to pass.
Limer Rake in particular is in terrible state of disrepair and is unsafe for all users. Although water has played a part, their destruction is largely as a result of off-roaders destroying the surface and tearing down adjacent walls to try to get purchase. In addition, off roaders have been illegally using fields to exit the lane, creating disturbance for Hollinsclough residents during the night and disrupting farm business.
We urge Staffordshire County Council to continue to protect both Rakes by making a temporary traffic regulation order. This will give the Council time to prepare an order to ban all motorised vehicles permanently. Nothing less will do as the lane has been ravaged by their use which cannot be sustained.
Once the lane is protected, consideration should be given as to how to repair the severe damage in a manner that reflects the history of the lane.