Council warns drivers on Peak District’s Snake Pass after movement in road surface detected at previous landslip sites

Drivers were warned that restrictions may be in place along the Snake Pass in the future – after movement in the road surface was detected at two points.
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Derbyshire County Council has to temporarily close the A57 Snake Pass in February 2022 after two storms damaged the road surface and foundations at three sites – Gillot Hey, Wood Cottage and Alport.

In May 2023, DCC carried out extensive repairs to the Gillot Hey and Wood Cottage sites. The traffic lights and temporary speed limit were removed and these sections of road were reopened to two-way traffic. The temporary traffic lights and 20mph speed limit at Alport remain in place.

A council spokesman said: “Since carrying out the repairs at Gillot Hey and Wood Cottage, we have noticed that the road surface is already showing some signs of movement. This is occurring much more quickly than in the past. We will continue to monitor these sites and may need to take action, including reinstating the temporary traffic lights and reduced speed limit.

The Snake Pass was closed last year after storms damaged the route.The Snake Pass was closed last year after storms damaged the route.
The Snake Pass was closed last year after storms damaged the route.

“At the Alport slip site, the road surface shows no signs of any movement. An initial survey report suggests extensive works are needed to strengthen the ground, using long steel piles. We don't have a cost for this work yet, but other similar work gives us an estimate of around £4million.

“In addition to the slip at Alport, a full geotechnical survey of the entire Snake Pass route has also been commissioned to tackle the issue of reoccurring ground movement and landslips. This report will help identify potential solutions for the future of the sites affected by the landslips and set out costings. Once this report is received we will be building a business case for the funding to take to the government, as we don't have the money available for such large schemes.”

Historical records suggest that landslips have taken place along the Snake Pass with closures dating back at least 90 years, with more than 30,000 vehicles each week including 1,500 HGVs using the road.