So long, Long Hill! After over five months of nearly traffic-free peace on the dramatic road between Whaley Bridge and Buxton, the A5004 is now open to all traffic again.
Derbyshire County Council has announced the A57 Snake Pass will be closed again from late September 2022, but with a five-mile stretch blockaded as no through route for all users.
Where better to talk to Dame Sarah Storey about cycling safety on fast rural roads than Derbyshire‘s A5004 Long Hill — briefly a cycling paradise while closed to most vehicles. So it was odd that the BBC’s Countryfile failed to mention this fact while using it for background footage in a piece that has been much-criticised online.
The A5004 Long Hill between Whaley Bridge and Buxton, one of the Peak District’s most spectacular roads, is closed for up to five months for major works to fix a landslip. With concrete barriers blocking the through route for motor vehicles, could this be Derbyshire’s next unintended “Snake Pass”-style cycling event? Yes: you can absolutely bet it will be.
If you’d hoped to join everyone else taking a spin on the Peak District’s most epic new traffic-free greenway, it appears you’ve missed your chance. As of today, the Snake Pass has reopened to motor traffic with what Derbyshire County Council laughably calls a “safety first approach”. But has this month of tranquility proved the case for regular, or even very occasional, advertised, motor-free days on Peak District roads?
In recent responses to road safety concerns about part of the Cheshire Cycleway, Cheshire East Highways states it “cannot engineer against motorists who choose to drive inappropriately” and that it “cannot prevent motorists choosing alternative routes.” Are these not two key tasks of a responsible local highways authority?