Peak group set for rally

A countryside group is holding a rally to campaign for greater protection of the countryside from off-road vehicles.

Members of the Friends of the Peak District will walk to Stanage Pole on Saturday, July 9, as they bid for stronger action to be taken to protect the countryside from damage from off-roaders.

Two groups will walk up Long Causeway and meet at Stanage Pole, where members will make short speeches.

A spokesman for Friends of the Peak District said: “Long Causeway is only one of many sites in the Peak District that is being eroded and trashed by off-roading.

“It is currently legal to drive on Long Causeway, so off-roaders aren’t breaking the law. However – knowingly or not – they are eroding and carving up this precious land.

“We want to see the Peak District National Park Authority make it illegal to drive on Long Causeway, and other tracks in sensitive places.”

The rally is being held a week before the Peak District National Park Authority meets on Friday, July 15, to review its policy about how it manages off-roading in the National Park.

Sean Prendergast, head of field services at PDNPA, said: “We do not have the power to impose a blanket ban. Parliament has said that only on routes where there is proven conflict and all other methods have been explored, should a Traffic Regulation Order be considered.

“Hard evidence has to be gathered over time to substantiate the need for a TRO, otherwise it can lead to costly legal challenges.”