A £60,000 decision to cover a Peak District footpath in road chippings was made by the council – after just a single complaint about the surface.
Mountain biking enthusiasts have been left livid over Derbyshire County Council’s decision to cover the 700 metre limestone path on Wigley Lane, near Hassop with chippings from planed road surfaces, claiming it is dangerous and not in keeping with the surroundings.
Cy Turner, owner of Cotic Bikes in Calver Works, Calver, said: “It is a disaster. It is wrong in every way it could be.
“They have used road planings without any thought for the environment. They haven’t done any environmental assessment.
“I also object to the fact that there was no consultation. It was one of the best limestone paths and now it’s covered in tarmac.”
He added: “There is no doubt it has been left more dangerous for riders. Before when it was rocky you had to pick your way slowly down whereas now it is much harder to control speed, and there is potential for falls on the loose surface.
“We used to take riders on test runs on our bikes down that route. We wont now. It’s too dangerous.”
A freedom of information request put to the council last month revealed the work – costing £59,552 – was undertaken after just one complaint and without any formal consultations or any direct contact with path users, other than the single complainant.
In the response, the council said: “The use of limestone was considered, however it was concluded, based on officer experience, that planings would be more durable.”
It follows the use of crushed gristone to resurface a section of Long Causeway, near Stanage Edge in April, which was also carried out by the council after one complaint, and which cost the taxpayer £250,000.
“There are cheaper, more cost effective, and more environmentally sympathetic ways of making improvements like this” added Cy. “If they had actually consulted with us we could have worked together to find a solution.”
A Derbyshire County Council spokeswoman said: “We repaired Wigley Lane because of our concerns over its condition. The lane was difficult to walk on and in particular it was considered dangerous for horse riders.
“We have a statutory duty to make sure that our routes are passable for all users.”
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