Derbyshire County Council under fire for ‘wasting’ £250k

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Derbyshire County Council has come under fire from campaigners for wasting over £250,000 of public money in austere times.

Campaign group Ride Sheffield has hit out at the council for beginning resurfacing work on the ancient causeway that runs from Stanage Edge to Dennis Knoll.

A spokesperson for Ride Sheffield explained that the resurfacing consists of a “flat-as-a-pancake” crushed gritstone top dressing which leaves “no interest whatsoever for mountain bikers – or anyone else for that matter”.

But aside from making the trail less interesting for walkers, riders and off-road vehicle users, the group take issue with a number of other things.

The spokesperson said: “The work is going to cost in excess of £250,000 – at a time when libraries and old folks homes are facing closure, this is a shocking waste of public money.

“Added to that, the repairs may be utterly redundant as The Peak District National Park Authority is debating whether to enforce a permanent Traffic Regulation Order order banning all motorised vehicles.

“Does the right hand know what the left is doing?

“The revetment repairs will replace a beautiful piece of ancient stonework with something which is, and I quote, ‘more engineered,’” said the Ride Sheffield spokesperson.

A spokesperson for Derbyshire County Council explained that the authority received a legal challenge over the state of the road, took advice and agreed action was needed to repair the ancient causeway.

The county council spokesperson said: “We’re doing the work with the approval of Natural England and the support of the Peak District National Park Authority.

“If we don’t do work to address drainage along the route there’s a risk it could be eroded by water running off the causeway and collapse and no one will be able to use it.”

The work was approved by the authority in January as part of the county council’s 2013/14 Capital Programme for environmental services.