Peak District trail riders 'not welcome' at Castleton fun day

Trail rider
Image caption The Trail Riders Fellowship said vehicles only had access to about 1% of the park and will fight any bans

Trail riders campaigning over access rights in the Peak District have been urged to stay away from a family event in the park.

It follows a number of slow rides and protests by the Trail Riders Fellowship (TRF) over plans to ban vehicles from some unsurfaced roads.

The park authority said the TRF should not use the Castleton fun day to protest over a recent ban.

But the TRF said it would attend to promote the park and group.

Last month, plans were approved to exclude vehicles from the 3.5km Roych, part of the Pennine Bridleway, near Chapel-en-le-Frith.

Image caption Trail riders have carried out a series of go-slow rides to highlight their campaign

Jim Dixon, chief executive of the Peak District National Park Authority (PDNPA), said: "We respect the right of vehicle users to express their views and also to experience the many activities taking place during National Parks Week.

"However, I find it difficult to see a family fun day as an appropriate activity [for campaigners] to attend to vent their disappointment and anger at the authority for its decision to ban vehicles from the Roych.

He said trail rider members should resist an "invitation from their leaders to cause congestion in and around Castleton".

'Private fiefdom'

Mike Irving, from the TRF, accused the authority of discriminating against trail riders.

He said: "We intend to enjoy the Peak District National Park as equals for as long as we can.

"We hope that Mr Dixon understands that the park is for everyone to enjoy and not a private fiefdom to which he can issue invites and warnings on a personal whim."

He added the group plans to be in Castleton at the event but only to promote the benefits of the national park for everyone to enjoy.

On the subject of the Roych ban, he said: "The decision was a serious blow, especially after we worked so hard to suggest alternative managed solutions."

He added: "No implementation date has been fixed but rest assured we will not let the occasion go unmarked."

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