A section of the High Peak Trail that will be widened

A section of the High Peak Trail that will be widened

A popular trail in the Peak District will be widened to give more space to walkers, cyclists and horse riders.

A £42,000 grant will be used to improve two sections of the High Peak Trail.

At present, parts of the trail between Newhaven Crossing and Parsley Hay cycle hire centre are just 750mm wide in places, which is not enough to accommodate walkers, cyclists and horse riders at busy times.

When the work is complete, the whole section will be at least 3m wide.

The grant, from the Government’s outdoors advisory body Natural England, was awarded through the Pennine Way and Pennine Bridleway National Trails Partnership, as the Pennine Bridleway follows the route of the High Peak Trail. £18,000 of match funding from the Peak District National Park Authority’s trails budget will also be used on the project.

Emma Stone, the authority’s trails manager, said: “The grant from Natural England is great news because it means that we can make significantly more improvements than would normally have been the case.

“This is a trail with a variety of users and widening it to a minimum of 3m should make the whole experience much safer and more enjoyable for everyone.”

The High Peak Trail runs for 27km (17 miles) from Dowlow, near Buxton, to High Peak Junction at Cromford. It follows the former route of the High Peak Railway line, which opened in 1831 to carry minerals and goods between the Cromford and Peak Forest canals.

Following the closure of the line, the Peak District national park bought the part of the route within its boundary in 1971 and turned it into a traffic-free trail. The section from Daisy Bank, Longcliffe, to High Peak Junction is outside the national park and owned by Derbyshire County Council.

Work will take place this winter and, although it is not expected that the trail will need to be closed, any necessary restrictions will be publicised in advance.

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