A57 Snake Pass to reopen today - but with weight limit in force

The A57 Snake Pass will reopen today – but HGVs will still need to follow a diversion route.

Tuesday, 29th March 2022, 9:08 am

Derbyshire County Council said it is taking a ‘safety first’ approach to the reopening of the road this afternoon (Tuesday, March 29) with on-site monitoring continuing to protect all road users, including cyclists and pedestrians.

The road had been closed in February after multiple landslips following three successive storms.

The storms caused three sections of the road surface to drop, in one area by around two metres, leaving major cracks to the road surface and the risk of further landslips.

Around 12 miles of Snake Pass had been closed but it will now reopen on March 29

Following ongoing inspections and monitoring, the road will reopen to traffic with three temporary single carriageway restrictions at Gillott Hey, Alport and Wood Cottage. Traffic will be controlled by temporary traffic lights and a 20mph speed limit will be in operation.

And HGVs over 7.5 tonnes will be asked to follow a signed diversion route using the A6013 / A6187 / B6049 / A623 / A6 / A6015 / A624 and vice versa.

The road will continue to be monitored using a hi-tech portable laser scanner to check for any further significant movement. Analysis shows that the movement of the road has considerably slowed to less than 20mm in the past week, giving engineers the confidence to reopen the road to cars and vehicles under 7.5 tonnes, the authority said.

During the closure general resurfacing works and pothole repairs have been carried out with retaining walls rebuilt.

Derbyshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways Assets and Transport, Councillor Kewal Singh Athwal said: “I’d like to thank everyone who usually uses the Snake Pass for their patience during the temporary road closure.

“We recognise many road users rely on this route for their businesses and day-to-day work. Following very careful monitoring of the road during the past four weeks believe we have a sensible approach to reopen the road while keeping all road users safe.

“The temporary traffic lights will enable us to protect the part of the road which has moved from any further damage. The drier weather will also help to significantly reduce the risk of any further landslips giving us time to monitor and identify a solution to repair the road, which will require Government funding.

“We have a responsibility to keep people safe on our roads which means that if we detect any further movement or risk of a landslip once the road reopens, we will unfortunately have to close the road.

“Please help us help you by allowing a little extra time for your journey, showing courtesy to other road users and keeping to the new temporary speed limit.”

The 12-mile section of the A57, known as Snake Road, is one of the highest roads in the Peak District and is used by more than 30,000 vehicles each week including 1,500 HGV’s.

The route had been closed to traffic on February 21, with the council then having to close it to all users including cyclists and walkers, a few days later. The move came after large groups of cyclists visited the road, standing on the part that has slipped.

But cyclists were unhappy that the entire road had been closed, and staged a mass trespass protest on March 12.