Jake Stewart urges cyclists not to participate in Snake Pass protest ride: 'Ask yourself how this will be conducive to finding harmony with motorists'

Amateur riders are protesting against the decision to close the A57 between Sheffield and Glossop to non-motor vehicles last Tuesday

Jake Stewart
(Image credit: Getty)

Groupama-FDJ rider Jake Stewart has urged cyclists not to participate in the 'Snake Pass Trespass' protest ride, suggesting it could further exacerbate the negative perception some people already have of cyclists. 

The A57 between Sheffield and Glossop, known as Snake Pass, was closed by Derbyshire County Council for at least four weeks to motor traffic on February 21, after heavy rain caused a number of landslips. As a result, cyclists flocked to the famous road to ride along without the dangers motor vehicles can pose, with the author Simon Warren describing it as "cycling utopia".

However, after a week of car-free cycling, the council has moved further to restrict all users of the road on Tuesday, allowing only local traffic to have access. As a result, the protest ride, scheduled for Saturday March 12 at 2pm, intends to challenge Derbyshire County Council for these stricter sanctions. 

Though this protest ride has gained traction on social media, Groupama-FDJ pro Jake Stewart pleaded with people on Twitter to think twice about involving themselves.

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He tweeted: "Please, if you're a cyclist considering attending this mass trespass this weekend, consider again. Take a thought to how we as cyclists are currently viewed in a number of people's eyes and ask yourself how this will be conducive to finding harmony with motorists in the future..."

The 22-year-old rider continued, suggesting Snake Pass isn't the best of climbs in the county anyway, before offering possible routes people could follow instead.

"I ride Snake Pass regularly and let me tell you, even traffic free, its not that great a climb... plenty of other climbs in Derbyshire which are more stunning and nicer roads... I've got plenty of GPX files for you if you're struggling to get off the A-roads, just a thought."

One of the protest ride's organisers, Harry Gray, told Cycling Weekly earlier this week that while he agreed the section of Snake Pass affected by the landslip should be closed, he said the decision to close the entire road is "laughable". He also questioned the reasoning behind Derbyshire County Council's decision, focusing on how works vehicles makes Snake Pass more dangerous than when regular motor vehicles are on the road.

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