A temporary 18month ban on off-road motor vehicles (trail-bikes, quad-bikes and 4x4s) is about to come into force on Chapel Gate – a notoriously difficult and eroded ancient highway which has become a bit of a mecca for both technical mountain bikers and motorised off-roaders. The route was closed for repairs until May 2011, and the ban comes into force as soon as it reopens.
Time will tell if this makes a difference to the erosion on the route (the reason given for the ban), and whether the landscape recovers more quickly without the 4x4s and trailbikers, (it’s hard to see how it wouldn’t, unless it’s irreparably damaged!) but in the meantime, technical mountain bikers will be able to enjoy the route without conflict with motorised users. Those liking less technical terrain may prefer some of the routes in my guidebook (Cycling in the Peak District) over Shatton Moor and past the cement works at Hope – which have been restricted byways/bridleways for quite some time!
Update 11.8.2011 – According to the Peak District National Park Authority:
“A legal notice has now been made which means no recreational motor vehicles can use the route from August 31 until the end of February 2013, towards the end of which time a decision will made on whether to make a permanent ban.
The trial ban affects a 3km route which skirts Rushup Edge and runs along a high ridge crossing a landscape of the highest international importance for its wildlife and natural beauty.”