Walkers’ anger over blocked footpath

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Cyclists and pedestrians have hit out at the county council after access to a cycle path between Matlock and Rowsley has been blocked.

Many were using an unofficial railway crossing to access the footpath because the only other way to reach the route was via a very muddy side path.

But now Peak Rail has blocked off the gate which people were using for safety reasons.

Anthony Porter, 31 of nearby Holt Drive, said his meant that nobody was now using the new footpath, apart from dog-walkers.

He added: “Bikers and dog walkers now go down the small side footpath that is six inches-deep with mud. Any family trying to get onto the path will struggle.

“I was wondering if anyone knew why the council did all this work and then didn’t upgrade the small footpath too just in case this happened.”

A spokeswoman for Derbyshire County Council said: “Before work started on Phase one of the new trail, all the relevant approvals had been agreed in principle.

“However there have been delays in getting formal approval for the link across the railway towards the A6, opposite the Arc.

“The current proposal is to divert the existing footpath, which is in a poor condition.

“The proposed new route would follow the line of the crossing including upgrading it to make it safer and more accessible to all users, including cyclists.

“HM Railway Inspectorate have advised Peak Rail to close off unauthorised crossings but have told us that the situation with this crossing can be solved through a legal agreement with all parties involved. We have sent Peak Rail the first draft of this document and are awaiting their response.”