Four former railway tunnels in the Peak District National Park will reopen later this month to walkers and cyclists after laying disused for more than 40 years. The £2.25 million project has been undertaken by the Peak District National Park Authority as part of its Pedal Peak District project and has been funded by the Department for Transport.
The four tunnels – called Headstone, Cressbrook, Litton and Chee Tor – are each between 400 and 500 metres long and housed part of the route of the Midland Railway prior to their closure in 1968.
They have now been cleared, repaired, resurfaced with environmentally friendly materials and provided with long-life lighting ahead of their official reopening on Wednesday 25 May by Transport Minister Norman Baker.
Together they will provide an extra 1.5 miles of public access through creating an extension to the Monsal Trail which links Bakewell and Buxton. The reopening of the tunnels is the first phase in a long-term project to create a circular cycle link between those two towns and Matlock, although for that to become reality, further funding is needed.
One of the aims of the Pedal Peak District project is to encourage people in the area to take up cycling, with training, bike maintenance courses and a variety of events on offer. It is also designed to provide a boost to the local economy, in part through employing local contractors to carry out work.
We at Peak District View were saying this 6 years ago – so better late than never.