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 Post subject: Three weeks to save Chapelgate? Object now!
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 6:09 pm 
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As many of you will doubtless already be aware Chapel Gate Byway in the heart of the Peak District is currently closed to all motor vehicle traffic by virtue of a Experimental Traffic Regulation Order (ETRO).

Quite what this experiment is supposed to be testing has been the subject of much speculation and to this day remains rather hard to determine. What is not in doubt however is the threat that this "experiment" poses to out future access. Not just to Chapel Gate of course but to the whole Peak Park area.

I believe that this order, if made permanent would be the thin edge of a very large wedge.

The future of our access in the Peak District is important for a lot of reasons, not least because this national park boast some of the best and most accessible green lanes in the country but it's more than just that. If this blanket closure goes ahead in it's current form then it will be a major victory for those organisations and individuals who seek nothing less than to destroy all legal recreational vehicle access in this country.

They may be starting with the national parks but unless we act decisively they will not stop until all of our activities are illegal in every county in this country.

Exageration? You decide for yourself but I don't think so. Access to our national parks is a national issue and I believe that it requires nothing less than a national response.

Strangely and due to the bizarre way in which the relevant legislation is worded, anyone who wishes to object to the adoption on a permanent basis of an experimental TRO is required to do so during th efirst six months of that experiment.

Now quite how you are supposed to comment meaningfully on an experiment that is less than a third of the way through is beyond me but despite the inherent silliness of this it is what the relevant legislation requires.

So, as the first six months of the Chapel Gate ETRO expires at the end of February 2012 we have, as the title of this post states, about three weeks in which to oppose the permanent adoption of the current closure.

So what are you waiting for? Lets get objecting!

Letters or Emails stating your objection to the permanent adoption of the experimental TRO should be sent to:

Mike Rhodes
Access and RoW Manager
The Peak District National Park Authority
Aldern House
Baslow Road
Bakewell
DE45 1AE

or

Email: mike.rhodes@peakdistrict.gov.uk


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 Post subject: Re: Three weeks to save Chapelgate? Object now!
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 6:58 pm 
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Some points you might like to consider while writing your objection,

Lack of access - recreational vehicle users have considerably less access in the Peak District than other user groups and this has been reduced even further by the NERC Act 2006

The importance of Chapel Gate - Chapel Gate is not only an important route in it's own right but is a vital link in the wider green lane network, it's loss would cause real harm and distress to legitimate vehicle users

Surface improvements - one of the key concerns expressed by the authority was displacment of users (vehicular and others) onto environmentally sensitive adjacent land because of surface damage. This damage has now been repaired by the County Council

Suitability for vehicles- many anti vehicle campaigners claim that this route is not suitable for modern vehicles but Derbyshire CC have confirmed that the repairs carried out were to "byway standard" and the surface is now suitable for use trail bikes and land rover type 4x4s

Proportionality - The terms of the experimental order represent the most draconian restriction the authority can impose. This is wholely out of proportion to any real problems.

Alternatives - There are a wide range of alternative management options available to the authority that could be effective but which fall short of the blanket ban proposed by this ETRO. It would be grossly unreasonable of the authority to adopt the most restrictive option with out at least trialing less restrictive options first

Finally, it is worth pointing out that the authority can very the terms of this order while it is in force so if you favour an alternative solution you could suggest that they use the remaining year fo this "experiment" to explore other options!

Of course this list is not exhaustive and I'm sure other people will have other points to make. Feel free to use all, some or none of these but please do object.

Regards

Richard


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 Post subject: Re: Three weeks to save Chapelgate? Object now!
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 7:14 pm 
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Richard.

Last week at the exec meeting Robin and others mentioned that it was important NOT to say you was a TRF member as this meant that all the TRF objections were lodged together as one.

Is this the case in this instance.? should we register our objections as private individuals without mentioning TRF.

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 Post subject: Re: Three weeks to save Chapelgate? Object now!
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 7:50 pm 
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I sent an objection Last year, this is the reply I got
Quote:
I refer to your comments on the proposal for an Experimental Traffic Order for Chapel Gate byway. You may be interested to know that a report on the matter was taken to the Authority's Audit, Resources and Performance Committee on 3rd June 2011.
Your objection was considered as part of the decision-making process.
The Committee report, and background papers (including a summary of the consultation responses) may be viewed on the web-site.
http://www.peakdistrict.gov.uk/index/lo ... 110603.htm

The Committee resolved
'That the Authority makes an Experimental Traffic Regulation Order under Section 22 BB(2)(b) Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 as set out in Appendix 3 (minus paragraph (c)) that will have the effect of prohibiting use by recreational mechanically propelled vehicles (motor vehicles) at any time along Chapel Gate for a period of 18 months at the end of the County Council’s current temporary closure for maintenance.'


Thank you for your contribution

So does the Experimental TRO expire after 18 months or do they just say it was a success and is there fore now permenant?
Where do we stand legally?


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 Post subject: Re: Three weeks to save Chapelgate? Object now!
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 9:58 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Three weeks to save Chapelgate? Object now!
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 11:17 pm 
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Mike

Generally your right that some authorities try to lump all representations from organisations together. This is especially true if you use form letters or the like.

My view is that I don't use these roads by virtue of being a TRF member so unless I'm actually representing the TRF in some capacity I don't tend to mention it. Having said that I don't think we should be ashamed of it or anything.

TB

Basically the authority can choose to either adopt the ETRO, vary it or abandon it at the end of the eighteen month period or indeed any time before that.

It's up to them but yes, essentially once the objection period is up (the first six months) I believe that they can just say "it's a success" and make it permanent!

In practice my guess is that the decission to do that would have to be made by members though not officers so it would probably have to go back to committee at least (if not the full authority meeting) but this is certainly the last opportunity that we get to formally object.

Skunkyd

Thanks.


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 Post subject: Re: Three weeks to save Chapelgate? Object now!
PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 11:08 am 
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 Post subject: Re: Three weeks to save Chapelgate? Object now!
PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 1:53 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Three weeks to save Chapelgate? Object now!
PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 3:13 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Three weeks to save Chapelgate? Object now!
PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 5:15 pm 
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