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Snake Pass now “belongs to cyclists” as Peak District climb closed to motorists for at least a month

Bike riders rejoice as temporary closure due to landslides creates “best LTN ever”

One of the country’s most scenic cycle routes, the Snake Pass in Derbyshire’s Peak District, has been closed to motor traffic due to landslides caused earlier this month by Storm Eunice and Storm Franklin, but not to people on bikes – leading author Simon Warren, of 100 Climbs fame and who lives close by to proclaim that the road now “belongs to cyclists.”

Writing on Twitter, he said: “The Snake Pass is closed to traffic, will be for ages. Went over to Glossop and back this morning. Bloody awesome. It now belongs to cyclists. Get out there before it opens again.”

Bike riders are still allowed to use the route, which lies within the Peak District National Park, was devised by the engineer Thomas Telford and opened as a toll road in 1821.

It carries the A57 between Sheffield and Manchester, although the Woodhead Pass further north is now the main route between the two cities.

The road will be closed to motor vehicles for at least a month because of the landslides, which have affected three locations on a mile-long section of the road between Glossop and Ladybower Reservoir.

Warren wasn’t the only rider out this weekend enjoying the unaccustomed serenity on a road that is popular with drivers and motor cyclists, as much for its winding hairpins as for its scenery, with one rider who works in urban planning describing the closure as the “best LTN ever.”

Derbyshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways Assets and Transport, Councillor Kewal Singh Athwal, said: “I know this will be a huge inconvenience to everyone who uses the A57 regularly.

“However, with the ground underneath the road surface expected to continue to move, in the interests of everyone’s safety we simply cannot allow traffic to use the road.

“This is an evolving situation but please be assured we will continue to monitor the situation closely.

“Once the land movement has stopped we will assess what needs doing to repair the sections of road. However, once in a position to do this it will be a complicated piece of work.

“I’d like to thank everyone for their patience as we deal with the aftermath of this unprecedented weather which has affected not only Derbyshire but much of the country,” he added

The council said that it is not known how long it will take for the ground to stabilise, which will allow more thorough assessments to be conducted.

It has also confirmed that local access is being maintained for residents, and that motorists are being asked to follow the diversion route running via the A57, A6013, A6187, B6049, A623, A6, A6015, A624 and then back on to the A57. 

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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