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Save Our Monsal Trail

Tomo Thompson
By Tomo Thompson
8th October 2020

Outline plans to reopen the Matlock Buxton railway through the Peak District are at an early stage but have reached the Department for Transport. The MEMRAP (Manchester & East Midlands Rail Action Partnership) bid to the Restoring our Railways fund would allow a full study of its proposed freight and passenger services to be undertaken. At present there’s insufficient evidence to form an opinion of this latest scheme. We objected to the 2004 proposal and will assess our stance once we understand its full impacts.

The project has some tough tests to pass if it is to go ahead. As a major development in the National Park, it must show exceptional circumstances (for it to need to be in the Park) and be in the public interest. In addition, this is a sensitive environment with strong protection for White Peak habitats and geology.

The potential impacts on recreation and quiet enjoyment in a tranquil part of the National Park are also potentially a showstopper. The 9-mile Monsal trail is immensely popular with walkers, cyclists, horse riders and the less mobile. Topographical and ecological constraints would make it virtually impossible to create a replacement trail of equal character and quality. If you value the Monsal Trail you can sign the petition here