Buxton politicians call for action to tackle eyesore town gateway on A6

Buxton political figures have come together to call on Derbyshire County Council to tackle an unkempt area of land alongside the A6, which they say poses a potentially serious hazard to road users.

By Ed Dingwall
Friday, 18th March 2022, 10:11 am

Conservative councillors Linda Grooby and Tony Kemp and High Peak MP Robert Largan are urging the authority to clean up the area known as the High Path, opposite Ashwood Park, offering a poor impression of the town for people arriving in Buxton by road.

The footway has been closed to pedestrians for many years due to concerns around the safety of the retaining wall and ash trees in the adjacent woodland. As far back as 2015, the Buxton Civic Association identified it as a “grot spot”, which was harming the town’s image.

Coun Grooby, who represents Buxton North & East, said: “The High Path has been a source of complaints and dissatisfaction for many years. It is a gateway into our town that is an eyesore.

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Councillor Tony Kemp, Robert Largan MP and Councillor Linda Grooby in front of the High Path on Bakewell Road.

“I want to work together with all relevant parties to find a solution to this issue.”

The High Path was sold off to a private owner over a decade ago, a decision initiated by the then Labour administration at Derbyshire County Council. It is understood the land is currently in probate following the death of the owner.

The councillors also report that there is concern amongst local residents that, without further action, structural problems and fallen trees could cause severe disruption to the A6 – which might convince the county council to step in as the relevant highways authority.

Mr Largan said: “It’s clear to me that we have a choice. We can act now or we can delay and inevitably face a very expensive repair job and an extensive closure of Bakewell Road in future.

“I urge the council and everyone to work together to step in to carry out the repair work needed as soon as possible to make the High Path safe again.”

A spokesperson for the county council would not be drawn on questions about any safety assessments of the area, but said: “We’ll work with High Peak Borough Council to look at what can safely be done to improve the appearance of the overgrown area while issues over the ownership of the land are resolved.”

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