Bikers vow to return to Matlock Bath as council scrap parking charges

Matlock Bath bikers' protest
Matlock Bath bikers' protest

Controversial proposals to charge bikers for parking in Matlock Bath are to be scrapped by Derbyshire County Council.

The incoming Conservative group on Derbyshire County Council had promised to stop the charges if they won control at County Hall.

The new Conservative leadership of Derbyshire County Council.

The new Conservative leadership of Derbyshire County Council.

The plan to impose the charges was passed by the previous Labour leadership last year - but had not yet been brought into effect.

After their victory in last week county elections, the move was one of the first made by new leader, Councillor Barry Lewis, and his team.

He said: “We will be putting a stop to plans to introduce parking charges in areas including Matlock Bath.

“We do not yet know which stage of the cabinet process the plan is.

I know a lot of people who did not go again after we were ignored last year.

Chris Thompson, Midlands Riders

“However, if the plan has been signed off it will be stopped - and if it hasn’t it will not get the go ahead.

He added: “It is our understanding that the meters have not yet been bought.”

Last March, thousands of riders came from all over the UK to protest against the council’s plan to introduce the charges.

And the new leader’s announcement was hailed as a victory by the biker who organised it.

Thousands of bikers ride through Matlock Bath in protest of potential parking charges. Picture: Andrew Roe

Thousands of bikers ride through Matlock Bath in protest of potential parking charges. Picture: Andrew Roe

Chris Thompson, from the Midlands Riders, said: “It is news to me but it is good news.

“I know a lot of people who did not go again after we were ignored last year.

“I still don’t know how they could just disregard the views of the 8,000 bikers who turned up.”

Chris said he is now in the process of organising a celebratory ‘ride back’ to Matlock Bath on Saturday, September 16.

Thousands of bikers ride through Matlock Bath in protest of potential parking charges. Picture: Andrew Roe

Thousands of bikers ride through Matlock Bath in protest of potential parking charges. Picture: Andrew Roe

“Matlock Bath is just a bikers’ place - everyone has a story about it,” said Chris.

“It wasn’t just about the 50p charge - it felt like we weren’t wanted anymore.”

It is the second time that charges for bikers have been proposed in Matlock Bath.

Similar plans in 2012 were scrapped after thousands objected.

A Derbyshire County Council spokesman said: “Plans to introduce parking charges at Matlock Bath have been put on hold after the new administration signalled its intent to revisit the decision.

“A report will now be drawn up for future consideration by the new cabinet member.”

Details regarding the ‘ride back’ to Matlock Bath can be found at www.facebook.com/events/458777501121927.