“Appalled to see the new trail flattening on the bottom section of rushup edge” @simcis to @KoftheP October 23rd, 2014
It’s exactly a year since the work on Rushup Edge first came to light.
What started out as a simple trail update tweet soon became a fully blown media campaign, spearheaded by Peak District MTB (PDMTB), @KoftheP, Ride Sheffield (RS) and PASA. The campaign was joined by the British Mountaineering Council (BMC) and Friends of the Peak (FOTP). The Peak District National Park Authority and Natural England were informed of the work and Derbyshire County Council found themselves fending off angry comments from a huge range of people.
And what has it come to after exactly 365 days of exhausting campaigning, emails, phone calls, meetings, forum posts, letters, reports, radio interviews, press releases, tweets and very little mountain biking? At this stage – nothing. We are still at square one. Rushup remains officially closed, Derbyshire County Council remain stubbornly defiant and those who use Rushup Edge – or those used to at least – remain frustrated, disappointed and ignored.
It’s unbelievable to see a Rights of Way department who once wasted £459,000 on a similar conflict steering this same course of action. Of course, for the campaigners, that raises the glimmer of hope that common sense could prevail – but it should never, never have reached a stage where that is even considered. Who knows how much money Derbyshire County Council have wasted thus far on this whole process?
Who knows, too, whether DCC will see sense and actually work with the groups who are campaigning against their actions, realise that by engaging with them they could harness the energies spent in fighting and use them for many, many positive projects? Just as they’ve done over the border in Sheffield. Wouldn’t that be nice?
There’s still some way to go and there’s still a lot of fight in the campaigners. But, Derbyshire County Council, there is a far easier road you can take. And it isn’t along Rushup Edge.
The last 12 months….
Interested in what’s been going on over the last 12 months? Take a look.
- Work starts
- Protest begins (picnic protest, media campaign)
- Work halts
- Rushup closed pending further consultation
- PDNPA, PDMTB, Ride Sheffield, KoftheP, the BMC invited to Derbyshire County Council to talk about plans
- Revised and annotated plans shared by DCC with campaign groups
- Derbyshire County Council receives official responses to plans from campaign groups
- MPs and local councillors voice their concerns to DCC
- DCC agrees to prepare a report for the Cabinet member, Highways Transport & Infrastructure.
February, March, April, May June – The impetus being with DCC; nothing happens
- Report shared with campaigners. Omits large number of responses and objections
- Campaigners contact cabinet members highlighting omitted responses
- Report delivered to Cabinet member
- Cabinet member authorises continuation of work based on misleading report
- Campaign groups complain to DCC using official channels
August, September – Nothing again as the ball is once again in DCC’s court
- Official response to complaint finds no error in DCC process or approach. This decision appears to be made, once again, on the strength of the Cabinet report prepared by DCC.