Fernilee trail access barriers installed by South West Peak

A. Sheridan made this Freedom of Information request to Peak District National Park Authority

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Dear Peak District National Park Authority,

The permissive trail path alongside Fernilee Reservoir, Goyt Valley, used for years by walkers and cycles, has recently been improved by South West Peak Partnership, of which the Peak District National Park Authority is the lead partner.

The “Better Outside” project states its aims as “Improving the health of visitors and residents by providing easier access to areas of exceptional natural beauty” and “Allowing easier access for quiet enjoyment”. However, the works have seen the replacement of standard wicket gates at either end of the trail with kissing gates.

These require a key to be fully wheelchair accessible and now block the routes for most types of non-standard and even normal bikes where the rider cannot physically lift the bike over the chest-height gate or stile. The route is a Proposed Route on Derbyshire’s Key Cycle Network.

Please could you provide answers to the following:

1. Who approved the use of these types of gates and what specific evidence was used for their need and choice of design compared to the previous wicket gates.
2. Where the users of the trail were publicly consulted on this change.
3. What research took place into the use of the trail for cycling, and whether this contributed to the choice of gates at all.
4. Whether any kind of accessibility or disability impact assessment took place in advance of the gates being installed.

Please also provide copies in full of:

* Schematic plans for the improvement of the trail, showing the placement and design of access barriers.
* Design and Access Statement for the improvement works.
* Any further accessibility or disability impact assessment which took place.
* Results of any public or private consultation which took place regarding the replacement of access barriers.

Yours faithfully,

A. Sheridan

PDNPA Customer Services, Peak District National Park Authority

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[1]75 Black PDNP LogoPeak District National Park  
Authority

Tel: 01629 816200

E-mail: [Peak District National Park Authority request email]

Web: www.peakdistrict.gov.uk

Aldern House. Baslow Road. Bakewell. Derbyshire.
DE45 1AE

 
   
SENT BY EMAIL Your ref:  

[FOI #673705 email] Our ref:   
PE\2020\ENQ\39614
n/a
Date:      01 July 2020

 

 

Dear A. Sheridan

 

Thank you for your request for information dated 01 July 2020*. Your
request has been logged and is being dealt with under the Freedom of
Information Act 2000/You have requested the information under the Freedom
of Information Act (“the Act”), but as the request relates to an
environmental matter, the information is classed as “environmental
information,” and as such is covered by the Environmental Information
Regulations 2004 (“The Regulations).

 

If we can meet your request we will send you the information within 20
working days and certainly no later than 28 July 2020. If we are unable to
release the information, in part or in its entirety, we will contact you
and explain why.

 

We do not normally charge for providing information in response to
requests, however, there are some circumstances under which we may ask for
payment and this is permitted under the Act/Regulations. We will always
advise you in advance if a charge is to be made.

 

If you have any queries about this correspondence please contact me
quoting the reference number above. Further details about Freedom of
Information can be found at [2]https://ico.org.uk/.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Michele Sarginson

Data Development Manager and DPO

01629 816278

[email address]

 

+------------------------------------------------------------------------+
|*Information Requested - please note that information received on a |
|weekend day or Bank Holiday, will be logged as having been received on |
|the next working day. |
|------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|  |
| |
|Goyt Valley- FOI regarding gates: |
| |
|1. Who approved the use of these types of gates and what specific |
|evidence was used for their need and choice of design compared to the |
|previous wicket gates. |
| |
|2. Where the users of the trail were publicly consulted on this change. |
| |
|3. What research took place into the use of the trail for cycling, and |
|whether this contributed to the choice of gates at all. |
| |
|4. Whether any kind of accessibility or disability impact assessment |
|took place in advance of the gates being installed. |
| |
|  |
| |
|Please also provide copies in full of: |
| |
|  |
| |
|* Schematic plans for the improvement of the trail, showing the |
|placement and design of access barriers. |
| |
|* Design and Access Statement for the improvement works. |
| |
|* Any further accessibility or disability impact assessment which took |
|place. |
| |
|* Results of any public or private consultation which took place |
|regarding the replacement of access barriers. |
| |
|  |
+------------------------------------------------------------------------+

 

Customer and Business Support Team
01629 816200
[Peak District National Park Authority request email]

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Peak District National Park Authority, Aldern House, Baslow Road,
Bakewell, DE45 1AE. Phone:01629 816200

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Sarginson Michele, Peak District National Park Authority

12 Attachments

Peak District National Park Authority  

Tel: 01629 816200

E-mail:
[Peak District National Park Authority request email]

Web: www.peakdistrict.gov.uk

Minicom: 01629 816319

Aldern House. Baslow Road. Bakewell.
Derbyshire. DE45 1AE

 
   
SENT BY EMAIL Your ref:  

[FOI #673705 email] Our ref:   
PE\ENQ\2020\39614

Date:      27
July 2020

 

 

Dear Sir/Madam

 

Thank you for your request for information, which we received on 1^st
July. I have considered your request under the Environmental Information
Regulations 2004 and my response is set out below.

 

The route, which forms part of the Better Outside project, runs along the
eastern bank of Fernilee reservoir. This is not a public right of way but
a concession footpath, granted by the landowner for those on foot only.
The previous structures did not include wicket gates but comprised an
A-frame barrier, a locked field gate and a wooden step over stile, which
required repair. The works undertaken to improve accessibility have to
date comprised surfacing, seat installation, and gates to accommodate
larger mobility vehicles. Please note that the gates installed do not
require a radar key to be fully wheelchair accessible although this is an
option to allow wider opening for larger mobility vehicles.

 

In response to your specific questions:

 

1.     Who approved the use of the gates and what specific evidence was
used for their need and choice of design compared to the previous wicker
gates?

 

The landowner and funder approved the gates. They were selected to make
the route accessible for all types of mobility vehicles as part of the
Better Outside project and to limit use by motorcycles. Use by motorised
vehicles has been an ongoing problem at this location as well as elsewhere
in the National Park. We are hoping that the vehicle monitoring taking
place will show that this use has reduced.

 

2.     Were the users of the trail publicly consulted on the change?

 

No public consultation took place on the detailed specifications for the
route. However, this route was one of several considered as part of the
Better Outside Workshop in 2016. This involved a number of organisations
including the Peak District Local Access Forum, and the organisations have
been kept informed of progress. Note that this route is a concession
footpath with additional consent given by the landowner for horse riders
on application. Some informal and limited use by cyclists was also
acknowledged to be taking place.

 

3.     What research took place into the use of the trail for cycling, and
whether this contributed to the choice of gates at all?

 

This route is not a public right of way nor a concession route with rights
for cyclists. The landowner has granted a right of concessionary access to
those on foot only. The route has not been promoted as a cycling route nor
has there been appropriate furniture in place for cyclists. We discussed,
as part of this work, the possibility of making this route available for
cyclists but this was not agreed by the landowner.

 

4.     Whether any kind of accessibility or disability impact assessment
took place in advance of the gates being installed

 

The gates are designed and marketed as large mobility kissing gates to
provide access for medium and large mobility vehicles, and comply with
BS5709:2018 specifications.

 

5.     Copies of schematic places for the improvement of the trail,
showing the placement and design of the access barriers

 

Information relating to the vehicle barriers was provided with the
invitation to quote for the improvement works. This included;
specification and pre-consultation information; photographs of site
features; map. See attached documents.

 

6.     Copies of a design and access statement for the improvement works

No design and access statement is available

 

7.     Copies of any further accessibility of disability impact assessment
which took place

 

The route was one of several considered as part of the Better Outside
project. A workshop was held in 2016. See attached report.

 

8.     Copies of the results of any public or private consultation which
took place regarding the replacement of access barriers

 

No public consultation took place over the replacement of the access
barriers. Agreement on the final design which met the requirements of
facilitating accessibility whilst preventing unauthorised motorised use
was sought from the landowner in January 2019. This was granted subject to
consent being obtained from Cadent regarding the pipeline and formed part
of the tender as provided in 5) above. 

 

 

I hope that the information provided is helpful, however if you have any
further queries please contact me quoting the reference number at the top
of the correspondence.

 

Please note that personal information (such as signatures, contact details
and other information relating to the identification of individuals) have
been redacted to ensure compliance with the requirements of the General
Data Protection Regulations 2016.

 

If you are unhappy with the way in which we have handled your request, you
have a right to an internal review through our complaints procedure.
Please email [1][email address]. Requests for reviews should be
made within three months of the date of our response.

 

If you are not satisfied with the outcome of the internal review, you have
the right of appeal to the Information Commissioner. The Information
Commissioner can be contacted via the ICO website at
[2]http://ico.org.uk/concerns/getting/repor.... Requests for
reviews by the ICO must be made within three months of the conclusion of
any internal review by the Authority.

 

Yours sincerely

 

[3]Michele Sarginson - Work Signature

Michele Sarginson

Data Development Manager and DPO

01629 816278

[email address]

 

 

Michele Sarginson
Records and Information Manager
01629 816278
[email address]

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Peak District National Park Authority, Aldern House, Baslow Road,
Bakewell, DE45 1AE. Phone:01629 816200

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Dear Sarginson Michele,

Thank you so much for providing this information, it’s very helpful.

The response notes “We discussed, as part of this work, the possibility of making this route available for cyclists but this was not agreed by the landowner.”

I believe the landowner is United Utilities? Would it be possible to provide copies of the discussion which took place with them regarding cycle access, assuming this was written or electronic?

It is notable that existing cycle usage was acknowledged, but that this was then effectively blocked by the barriers immediately chosen without public consultation, removing an important and useful route for a large set of users. It would be good to see it clearly stated that United Utilities refused cycle access on this trail so that the matter can be followed up with them instead.

Yours sincerely,

A. Sheridan

Sarginson Michele, Peak District National Park Authority

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Peak District National Park Authority  

Tel: 01629 816200

E-mail:
[Peak District National Park Authority request email]

Web: www.peakdistrict.gov.uk

Minicom: 01629 816319

Aldern House. Baslow Road. Bakewell.
Derbyshire. DE45 1AE

 
   
SENT BY EMAIL Your ref:  

[FOI #673705 email] Our ref:   
PE\ENQ\2020\39871

Date:      06
August 2020

 

 

Dear Sir/Madam

 

Request for information – Environmental Information Regulations 2004

 

Thank you for your email confirming receipt of the requested information.
I have considered your further enquiry regarding discussions with the
landowner over the issue of cycle access and can confirm that we do not
hold any written correspondence or notes on this matter.  Verbal
discussions took place with the landowner who confirmed that they did not
wish to alter the current concessionary access to make it a public right
of way or to open up the concession to cyclists. 

 

The utilities companies do not fall within the remit of the Freedom of
Information Act, however, following a decision in 2015, they are now
subject to the Environmental Information Regulations (EIR) 2004, so should
consider a request for any relevant information.

 

I hope that the information provided is helpful, however if you have any
further queries please contact me quoting the reference number at the top
of the correspondence.

 

If you are unhappy with the way in which we have handled your request, you
have a right to an internal review through our complaints procedure.
Please email [1][email address]. Requests for reviews should be
made within three months of the date of our response.

 

If you are not satisfied with the outcome of the internal review, you have
the right of appeal to the Information Commissioner. The Information
Commissioner can be contacted via the ICO website at
[2]http://ico.org.uk/concerns/getting/repor.... Requests for
reviews by the

ICO must be made within three months of the conclusion of any internal
review by the Authority.

 

Yours sincerely

 

[3]Michele Sarginson - Work Signature

Michele Sarginson

Data Development Manager and DPO

01629 816278

[email address]

 

 

+------------------------------------------------------------------------+
|*Information Requested – please note that information received on a |
|weekend day or Bank Holiday, will be logged as having been received on |
|the next working day. |
|------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|The response notes “We discussed, as part of this work, the possibility |
|of making this route available for cyclists but this was not agreed by |
|the landowner.” I believe the landowner is United Utilities? Would it be|
|possible to provide copies of the discussion which took place with them |
|regarding cycle access, assuming this was written or electronic? It is |
|notable that existing cycle usage was acknowledged, but that this was |
|then effectively blocked by the barriers immediately chosen without |
|public consultation, removing an important and useful route for a large |
|set of users. It would be good to see it clearly stated that United |
|Utilities refused cycle access on this trail so that the matter can be |
|followed up with them instead. |
| |
|  |
+------------------------------------------------------------------------+

 

Michele Sarginson
Records and Information Manager
01629 816278
[email address]

[4][IMG]
Help us celebrate 70 years of National Parks with [5]#70kfor70 
Sign up to receive the Peak District National Park Foundation’s [6]Our
Peak e-newsletter to keep up to date with campaigns and projects to look
after the National Park for everyone forever.
Donate [7]here [8][IMG]  [9][IMG]  [10][IMG]

Peak District National Park Authority, Aldern House, Baslow Road,
Bakewell, DE45 1AE. Phone:01629 816200

show quoted sections

 

 

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References

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2. http://ico.org.uk/concerns/getting/repor...
4. http://www.peakdistrict.gov.uk/donate
5. Peak District Foundation
http://www.peakdistrictfoundation.org.uk/
6. sign up
http://eepurl.com/gyfmkz
7. http://www.peakdistrict.gov.uk/donate
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