LETTER: Peak Rail - Walk or cycle to enjoy the views

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Peak Rail need to rethink their vision on the old Buxton to Matlock line now it has been converted into a very successful trail for everyone to enjoy walking, cycling and horse riding along it.

Two million pounds was spent on re-opening the Monsal tunnels and resurfacing, creating one of the best multiuser trails in the Peak District. Thousands of people use this route to enjoy the tunnels and fantastic scenery. This trail encourages people to get outside and take part in activities that benefit their health and is a real success story. The best way to enjoy it is to walk, cycle or ride a horse - why would we want it to include a railway line. If you sit in a rail carriage you will pass too quickly to enjoy the wonders of this area, see and hear the birds, examine the history, plants and wildlife and experience the tunnels.

The Peak Rail vision of running trains again means that the current route would have to be narrowed and fenced in to accommodate rail tracks. You only have to see the narrow fenced section alongside the track near Matlock. We cannot get the trail into Buxton along the existing track from Wyedale because there is no room for it.

Our use of the tunnels would mean we would have to contend with smoke, grit, fumes, and noise pollution. We may be restricted from using the tunnels - I am sure the thousands of users who currently use the trail would not want this. With all the footpaths, cycle routes and bridleways that crisscross the trail numerous crossings would be needed. Rail crossings are likely to be opposed on safety grounds. Any changes to the way the trail is currently used could have significant adverse impacts on how we enjoy the route.

Peak Rail should encourage visitors to use the Monsal Trail by showing how it links in with their line from Matlock to Rowsley and promoting it on their website. They should examine operating a shuttle train service, on existing track, from Buxton to Wyedale/Blackwell Mill and back to take people, bikes and wheelchairs to the trail.

There is no economic demand for a rail link between Buxton and Matlock.

What we want is a multiuser trail, connecting the sections of the White Peak Loop from Buxton to Matlock.

A proven demand for completing the White Peak Loop exists as can be seen from the thousands of people who already use the Monsal Trail.

Andy Banks

Green Lane, Buxton

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