Too many cars and lorries in the wrong place at the wrong time ruin the countryside we love. They are noisy and polluting, and spoil many people’s enjoyment of the Peak District. As climate change is the biggest threat to our landscapes, reducing traffic is also crucial in cutting carbon emissions and slowing the threat.
The Trans-Pennine Corridor
There is an imbalance between North and South in the funding of transport – here in the north, for too long, there has been a lack of investment and inequality of provision resulting in revenue shortfall and a need for subsidy. But when investment proposals do come forward (usually from decisions taken in London) they are usually for schemes which worsen sustainability and carbon, and still fail to ‘close the gap’. And because the decision making, policy, scheme assessment, planning and consultation frameworks are now so inadequate, projects can no longer be tested effectively.
For more information, visit the new Transport~North website for sustainable transport against north-south imbalance www.transportnorth.org.uk
The Hope Valley Rail Loop
We were delighted to learn that the Hope Valley railway line passing loops at Bamford and at Dore have been given the go ahead. Although the Friends objected to the upgrade on the grounds that the test of major development in a National Park had not been robustly applied, we accept that the public inquiry fulfilled this function.
There will now be an extra track between Bamford station and Jaggers Lane, and a new track through Dore station with station improvements. The Hope Valley line is an important route for freight from the Hope Valley Cement Works, for access to the Peak District National Park and for commuters between Sheffield and Manchester. Currently with only two fast trains an hour and one slow train every two hours it is not easy to choose rail over road travel.
The upgrade will allow an extra fast train an hour plus one stopping train an hour. This should increase visits to the National Park by train and facilitate circular walks or cycles between stations. Residents will have more opportunities to leave their cars at home and enjoy a trip to the city, and commuters will have more choice of services for getting to work. Once the minor ecological impacts have been mitigated this scheme should be a win for the environment.
What else are we doing?
For decades our main transport campaign has been trying to solve the traffic problems on the A628 Trans-Pennine route in a way that doesn’t just shift cars and lorries to somewhere else in the Peak District. We’re still working with a coalition of other groups on the proposed Mottram Bypass and Glossop Spur.
- We support improvements to local bus and train services which encourage people to travel without using a car
- We lobby for slower speed limits in the countryside to make our roads safer – especially for other users including cyclists, horse-riders and walkers
- We support local food networks to support the rural economy and reduce the impact of food miles
- We monitor the countryside for roadside clutter, and work to improve design and reduce its impact
Have a look at our Transport Policy here for more details.
Three things you can do this week to help us reduce the impact of traffic on the countryside…
- When you next visit the Peak District, use the bus, train or cycle instead of going by car
- Check food labels for the place of origin – and then buy local rather than imported food
- Drive 5 mph more slowly and smoothly on rural roads to save petrol and cut emissions