Peak District biking group hit out at council for ‘extremely concerning work’ on park trail

A group of mountain bikers have criticised the ‘concerning’ maintenance that has been carried out on a trail in the Peak District.

Monday, 24th January 2022, 12:13 pm

The Peak District MTB have expressed worries about the maintenance work Derbyshire County Council has undertaken on Pin Dale, near Hope.

In a statement, a Peak District MBT spokesperson said: “Extremely concerning work has now been done on the Pin Dale path, which seems to be significantly at odds with the original understanding of the work.”

The council said they would use locally-sourced limestone as part of their repairs, but instead, they have used what appears to be general rubble from brownfield sites.

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The Peak District MTB have expressed worries about the maintenance work Derbyshire County Council has undertaken on Pin Dale, near Hope.

Chris Maloney, a Peak District MBT committee member, said it was alarming that the council had changed their plans after consulting with local groups.

“It's a case of DCC saying they were going to do one thing and doing another. Whether there were good intentions or not, to change your minds and not consult people again is a challenge.

“The concern amongst us and other groups is that, if they say they will do one thing and do another in this scenario, what will they do with some of the other trails in the peaks?”

Chris also said that, given that the area is protected by organisations such as Natural England and Historic England, he could not understand why the council would use such material.

Chris Maloney, from the Peak District MTB, said Derbyshire County Council should have consulted local stakeholders again after altering their plans for Pin Dale.

“The biggest concern is that there were crushed ceramics in the stuff they put down on the trail, it looked like recycled MOT, a foundation layer you put down that is taken from old brownfield sites- it’s crushed rubble basically.

“It’s a site of special scientific interest, it's a designated site by Natural England, and there’s a scheduled monument from Historic England, so there’s some real focus there. Putting that kind of stuff in that kind of environment is just not right- especially when they said they weren’t going to.”

Derbyshire County Council have since announced that they intend to replace the material that has been used for maintenance on Pin Dale.

A spokesperson for the authority said: “Before work started we consulted and agreed with the Peak Park, Natural England and Historic England that a specific locally-sourced limestone would be used on the site.

Crushed ceramics were found in the material used as part of maintenance on the trail.

“However, due to site conditions it was considered, with good intentions, that a recycled material would be better to form a good foundation, with a further layer of the locally-sourced limestone on top to complete the job.

“Following the concerns raised about the recycled material not being appropriate, we are now looking at removing it and replacing it fully with locally-sourced limestone, as was the original intention. We have halted work on site while we liaise with stakeholders about our proposal to remove the recycled material and will restart work as soon as this plan has been agreed.”