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Snake Pass protest: Cyclists reclaim car-free route

Around 50-60 cyclists, including children, cycle hire users and cargo bike riders, enjoyed the traffic-free climb — one participant reported the "workers at the barrier were really nice and friendly"...

An estimated 60-strong group of cyclists took part in Saturday's Snake Pass protest, dubbed the Snake Trespass.

After the A57, one of the area's busiest roads, connecting Manchester and Sheffield via Glossop, was shut for urgent maintenance due to landslides caused by storms Eunice and Franklin, the scenic Peak District climb was described as a cyclists' paradise.

However, last week Derbyshire County Council announced the route would also be closed to cyclists and pedestrians, prompting accusations of an "anti-cyclist decision dressed up cheaply as health and safety".

Many cyclists pointed out the irony of Snake Pass never being safer now drivers cannot use it, and plans for a protest ride were drawn up.

Despite calls from FDJ-Groupama pro rider Jake Stewart to reconsider the 'Trespass', a group of around 50-60 riders amassed in Glossop before riding the route to the top, unchallenged by workers.

> Groupama-FDJ pro Jake Stewart warns against Snake Pass trespass – questions "how this will be conducive to finding harmony with motorists"

One participant reported "the workers at the barrier were really nice and friendly."

Amongst the group were families, a cargo bike rider, and a cyclist using a Beryl hire bike. Walkers were also spotted enjoying the empty roads and scenic views.

On Friday, national cycling charity Cycling UK appeared set to challenge the council’s decision to close the road to cyclists and walkers, before saying the route is not closed to cyclists:

Cycling UK is writing to Derbyshire County Council regarding the reasons for closing parts of the A57 Snake Pass to cyclists. Pending their response, there has however been confusion regarding which stretch of the pass cyclists are unable to access.

For clarity, the emergency temporary road closure made on 22 February, which lasts until 22 March, only permits closure on the section of the map attached. There is however an alternative off-road route connecting the two farms and bypassing the stretch of the road subject to the closure order.

Cyclists are not banned from the entirety of the Snake Pass and can bridge the gap over the closed section of road if they are willing and able to take an off-road diversion.

Snake Pass map

Dan is the news editor and has spent the past four years writing stories and features, as well as (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. Having previously written about nearly every other sport under the sun for the Express, and the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for the Non-League Paper, Dan joined in 2020. Come the weekend you'll find him labouring up a hill, probably with a mouth full of jelly babies, or making a bonk-induced trip to a south of England petrol station... in search of more jelly babies.

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wtjs | 2 years ago

Well done, Trespassers!

Achtervolger | 2 years ago

Could anyone provide a link to the map of the emergency road closure?

. . replied to Achtervolger | 2 years ago
1 like

The "closed" section is just after the Shirebrook roundabout in Glossop to just before the turnoff to Derwent Valley. The actual road damage is in the really scenic bit where the road runs closest to the Snake River.

Dnnnnnn replied to Achtervolger | 2 years ago
1 like
Achtervolger replied to Dnnnnnn | 2 years ago
1 like

Thank you!

ChasP | 2 years ago

Maybe the title should be changed to clarify that the road isn't closed (with a short detour)?

mdavidford | 2 years ago

dubbed the Snake Tresspass

Is that a typo, or are people really calling it that (with two double 's'es)?

Cos that doesn't really work, does it?

chrisonabike replied to mdavidford | 2 years ago

Yess, it doess! 🐍

(I'm guessing that emoji might look a bit wrong for some.)

mdavidford replied to chrisonabike | 2 years ago

I think if you were going for that it ought to be two triple 's'eses though.

I see it's been amended now, so it looks like it was just a fat finger moment anyway.

David9694 | 2 years ago

There were some pictures on Twitter of someone in cycling kit, claiming to be of Jake Stewart and stating he'd been pushed off his bike and had some messy cuts and grazes.

Anyone else seen it? Assuming genuine, is this before or his call for us all to be nice to drivers?

Looks like folk have had a nice afternoon out in the Snake today. We should do it more often. 

Zermattjohn replied to David9694 | 2 years ago

Yes, this happened yesterday in New Mills, right where I live. We're gathering CCTV evidence - we know the number plate and car model, but there's no footage of the actual assault yet.

Jake has tweeted about it asking for any footage to be sent to him.

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