We are urging The Peak District National Park to move forward with a permanent ban to stop vehicles at Chapel Gate after a legal challenge by a trial rider group against the temporary ban was successful.
Chapel Gate is a very special ancient packhorse route, rising over the Mam Tor ridge from Edale. It runs through a Special Area of Conservation, a Special Protection Area and a Site of Special Scientific Interest.~
Its poor track surface has led all users to avoid the hollow-way and pass over the environmentally sensitive land beside it, causing unacceptable collateral damage and compromising use of the route by all users. In 2011 an 18 month experimental order banning 4x4s and trail bikes from using Chapel Gate was instigated in order to monitor the condition of the route without the impact of motorised vehicles.
A group of recreational trail riders mounted a legal challenge to this experimental order on six grounds, five of which were rejected by the Inspector. However the Judge ruled that the precise wording used in the reasons for the order did not reflect fully the experiment being carried out and so quashed the order, which took immediate effect three months before it was due to end.
Since this ruling in November 4×4 and trail bikes have been legally able to use this route again. The Peak Park is now consulting with local groups on the future management of the route. We have responded and continue to call for the implementation of a permanent order banning all motorised vehicles from using this sensitive route.