A mountain biking group has blasted the county council for ‘urbanising’ a high moorland trail by resurfacing parts with concrete.
Peak District MTB say while making accessibility improvements to the route Derbyshire County Council has deviated from its own ‘light-touch’ approach by carrying out major ‘construction works’.
Derbyshire County Council undertook the work on deteriorating sections of the Chapelgate bridleway near Edale to make it more accessible.
However Peak District MTB say they understood the works were to be carried out with ‘minimal’ but the council had used stone set in concrete and compacted aggregate on extensive sections of the path.
Chairman Dan Noble said this was done ‘despite overwhelming consultation feedback and professional advice against the approach’.
He said: “It is our belief that Derbyshire County Council have significantly deviated from their originally stated aims and assurances.
“They have failed to communicate or consult on this change with us and as we understand it - other significant stakeholders.”
A spokesperson for Derbyshire County Council said: “We’ve always been clear that we need to carry out repairs on Chapelgate because the condition of some sections is deteriorating and we need to make sure that this route can be used by a range of different users – some of whom would find the route difficult to use in its current condition.
“But we understand how important this route is to the public and when the overwhelming response to our public consultation showed that people didn’t want to see the route repaired to such a high standard that would spoil the character of the route, we listened and we revised our plans.
“We’re doing everything we can to make sure these essential repairs are carried out in the simplest, most constructive way to reflect the natural landscape as closely as possible but we have to balance this against the need to make sure it’s accessible.”