A High Court move which could have opened up a Peak District bridleway to the roar of off-road motorcycles has failed.
Trail Riders Fellowship campaigners had challenged a decision blocking motor cycles and four-wheel vehicles from using a right of way that connects Pilsley village with the A619. But Mr Justice Collins, last month, rejected the group’s claim that it was wrong to designate the route, known as Bradley Lane, as a bridleway rather than as a byway open to all traffic.
The trail must now be limited to pedestrians, horse riders or pedal cyclists. The decision comes despite the council initially seeking to have the route confirmed as a byway.
The judge said: “The inspector held a public inquiry in December 2012. He concluded that the county council had not established to the required standard, namely the balance of probabilities, that the route was a vehicular highway. He decided that it should be designated as a bridleway. Objections were raised to the conclusion that it should be designated as a bridleway and so the inspector held a second inquiry in March 2014. His original decision was regarded as an interim decision. Following the second inquiry, he maintained his interim decision.”
The judge said he accepted that the inspector could have found the route to be a byway but he was equally entitled as a matter of judgment to reach a contrary conclusion.
He added: “None of the specific matters raised persuade me that the inspector’s decision is flawed.”
The Trail Riders Fellowship campaigns to preserve vehicular lane status for motorcycle use.