TRAIL bikes, quad bikes and 4×4 vehicles are to be banned from a country track in the Peak District.
The Peak District National Park Authority has approved an experimental 18-month traffic regulation order after officials advised it as a last resort to halt “further severe environmental damage” to Chapel Gate, between Chapel-en-le-Frith and Edale.
The route lies within a Special Area of Conservation, a Special Protection Area and a Site of Special Scientific Interest, but deep ruts, mud and exposed rocks are now deterring walkers, cyclists and horse riders. Erosion has widened up to 12 metres as people deviate on to surrounding land with fragile wildlife habitats.
Although Chapel Gate is a centuries-old public highway, the Peak Park authority heard that the environmental harm was so great that a “respite was needed from motorised traffic”.
No member of the public spoke against the plans, though a six-week public consultation resulted in 309 responses in favour of a temporary ban and 207 against.