Peak protesters warn they will up the ante over access

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Hordes of bikers and 4x4 drivers descended on the Peak District National Park offices once again to protest against plans to ban them from green lanes in the area.

The protestors – who are furious with the authority’s decision to go to public consultation over a permanent vehicle ban along the Chapel Gate green lane – began arriving at the Bakewell offices around 8pm on May 24 to demand a private meeting with the authority’s senior management.

Chief Executive Jim Dixon and Chris Pennell, chair of the audit, resources and performance committee, did agree to the meeting and protest organiser Mike Irving, as well as colleagues Nigel Bennett and David Sparkes, expressed their views.

Mike Irving, of the Trail Riders Fellowship, said: “Our aim was to have a sit-down talk with the senior management of the authority and I am pleased that we achieved this.

“But if we do not start to get a fair and proper deal, we will continue to apply the pressure and the demonstrations will begin to get more active.”

He added that protesters had “behaved like absolute gentlemen” thus far, but warned they would have to “pick up the ante” if the authority refused to listen.

Jim Dixon, Chief Executive Peak District National Park, said: “The national park welcomes feedback from all users of our green lanes.

“We are currently running a six week long consultation over the possibility of excluding vehicles from Chapel Gate – a 3 km route with landscape and wildlife of the highest international importance which is the authority’s statutory responsibility to protect this. We would encourage everyone with a view to participate.”

The consultation closes on June 28. To register your views visit www.peakdistrict.gov.uk/consultations.