Fernilee Reservoir - trail access changes by South West Peak

A. Sheridan made this Environmental Information Regulations request to United Utilities Water PLC
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Dear United Utilities Water PLC,

In 2019 works were carried out to the trail (dismantled railway) along the eastern shore of Fernilee Reservoir (53.2934500, -1.9795752) by the Peak District National Park Authority and South West Peak Partnership.

This included relaying the surface of the trail, adding seating and replacing access controls. In this case, a-frame motorcycle inhibitor barriers at each end were replaced with wheelchair-accessible kissing gates which are not accessible for cycling.

South West Peak have stated in a separate FOI request (https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/f...) that the landowner and funder approved these gates, and that it was “discussed, as part of this work, the possibility of making this route available for cyclists but this was not agreed by the landowner”.

Please provide copies of all correspondence between United Utilities and South West Peak/Peak District National Park relating to the improvement work on this trail, including statements where cycle access is refused by United Utilities.

Yours faithfully,

A. Sheridan

Environmental Information’s Regulations Response, United Utilities Water PLC

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EMGateway3.uuplc.co.uk made the following annotations

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EIRRequests, United Utilities Water PLC

Dear Mr Sheridan

Thank you for your request for information pursuant to the Environmental Information Regulations 2004.

I have made enquiries about the footpath and correspondence in question and reviewed the correspondence on the link attached to your email which you have been provided by other authorities. In summary I have been advised that:

• The track is currently a concessionary footpath, not a bridleway. Access for cycles has never been permissible, although cyclists did (and still do) use the track.
• The track has been resurfaced and the old anti motorbike gates were replaced with a “radar key” kissing gate at either end.
• UU does allow some authorised horse riders to use the track but they must apply to UU for a key.
• Improvements have been made for people with disabilities or other mobility challenges who it is understood have very few safely accessible routes in this part of the Peak District.
• The “better outside” project was managed by South West Peak (Peak District National Park Authority). UU's role was only to donate some money to the project as part of a matched funding initiative.

There is no additional written correspondence of which I am aware with the Peak District National Park Authority regarding the improvement work of the access trail.

Yours sincerely

Claire Thomson
EIR Team

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