CAVERNOUS sealed tunnels leading through one of the Peak District’s most scenic countryside spots are set to be re-opened to the public along the Monsal Trail thanks to a successful cycling scheme.
Peak District National Park Authority’s £2.25million Pedal Peak District Project is helping turn the wheels of conservation with plans to re-open and light up the four closed, old rail tunnels for cyclists, ramblers and horse riders.
Another section of the trail, from Millers Dale to Blackwell Mill, has been closed this week while work is carried out.
Rhonda Pursglove, project manager for Pedal Peak District, said: “We are sorry for the temporary disruption but I’m sure people will realise it is worth it when the end result will bring a much better route for people to enjoy in the future.
“It will be an amazing experience to go through the tunnels and see the fantastic views of the countryside as you come out.
“We are looking forward to completing the work so that cyclists, walkers and horse riders can experience that feeling for the first time since the tunnels closed in 1968.”
A section of the trail between Upperdale and Monsal Head was closed in early February and will remain closed until the end of March.
Access for vehicles at Millers Dale Old Station car park is also restricted throughout this time as the majority of it will be used for construction traffic carrying out works on the trail.
The bridleway from Brushfield to Netherdale, approached from the western end of Monsal Head Viaduct, remains open but will continue to have contractors checking to ensure the public can cross safely.
The trail from Millers Dale to Litton will be open but heavy plant and machinery are using the route to bring materials and equipment to the site.
The new route through the former railway tunnels is expected to open to the public in May or June.