Peak District mountain bike scene under threat from Derbyshire County CouncilHot
Mountain bikers in the Peak District are incensed at trail works being carried out by Derbyshire County Council (DCC) on the Rushup Edge byway. With no consultation with the local user group Peak District MTB the work has started to fill in and smooth out the rocky section of popular trail on Rushup Edge as part of the project to resurface Chapel Gate which heads down into Edale.
As there has been no consultation is hard to truly explain why this is happening but of course it is concerning that a) no consultation has occurred and b) the Peak District famous for its rugged MTB natural terrain may be in danger of a wider sanitation of trails which will be to the detriment of all users bikers and non bikers alike as the natural terrain is altered. Hence we encourage all mountain bikers to put pressure on the DCC.
The Peak District MTB are trying to open up a dialogue with Derbyshire County Council and have already help a picnic protest on the site. You can put pressure on the DCC to open a dialogue by:
Tweeting them on @DerbyshireCC
Posting on their FB wall - Derbyshire County Council
Phoning them on 01629 533190
Also please check out Peak District MTB to follow the progress and show your support www.peakdistrictmtb.org.
It may / may not be too late for Rushup Edge but the DCC need to wake up to the fact that we are still a community dedicated to sustainable natural trails and deserve formal consultation.
MTB in the UK is strong, mature and organised brilliantly at a local level but on a national level it is piecemeal, weak with little to no political clout.
The proven economic benefits at a local level to regenerate or significantly drive tourism have led to many local govt initiatives like Cognation in South Wales, 7stanes in the Scottish Borders, SW1 in South West England and Mountain Bike Ireland and as a result we have seen rapid trail centre development all across the UK in the last ten years.
At the same time organisations like the PMBA, SingletrAction, Peak District MTB and an army of other local volunteer organisations work wonders with local communities and local volunteers to drive local initiatives. Regional MTB is strong.
We lack though a national body to make councils and governments accountable. Represent our voice politically and lobby with the strength numbers bring as well as pioneer macro developments that support, protect and grow mountain biking. The US have the IMBA but here it is not strong enough. Organisations like the CTC MTB seems to have been decimated recently and the CTC are focussing more on road cycling. British cycling are mainly driven by youth development and by racing.
I believe regional bodies need to align in some way to create a national MTB political force or a national entity needs to come along and bring them together. We see the seeds of this and other models internationally exist. Then it would be much harder for local councils to act in this way as a strong political lobbying force would exist.
On top of this IBikeRide wonder if a complacency or an ignorance has set in at local government level specifically in those areas where mountain biking has existed for years and in the very real sense where it was born in the UK.
Unlike the other more trail centre focussed areas mentioned they have never not known mountain biking and so maybe are ignorant of the benefits it brings. Maybe they don't realise what they are potentially putting at risk of losing economically, socially and health wise. I sense they are simply put ignorant of what an amazing thing they have and the benefits it brings. These local authorities that have a predominately natural terrain set up need to sit up and take notice.
Go give your support to Peak District MTB.