BradwellImage copyright
Andrew Hill/Geograph

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Residents in Bradwell, Hope Valley, have been complaining cyclists from Sheffield are making “unnecessary journeys” through their village

Residents have complained cyclists are “flouting coronavirus guidelines” by making unnecessary journeys through their village in the Peak District.

One villager from Bradwell in the Hope Valley argued people riding there from Sheffield “pose a threat” to residents.

But a cycling group said some were using the lockdown “as an excuse to air long-held grievances against cyclists”.

Derbyshire Police said cycling was a permitted form of exercise but cyclists should “use good judgement”.

Residents have taken to Facebook to air their concerns about cyclists from Sheffield travelling through the village of Bradwell, to the west of the city in the Hope Valley.

Villager Iain Greenhalgh, one of several to voice objections, said: “We’re living out in the Peak District, and the thing that’s become apparent in this lockdown is all the groups that use it – hill walkers, trail riders, rock climbers – have stopped.

“But cyclists aren’t compromising what they’re doing for the health of everyone else.

“If you appear in the villages of the Hope Valley wearing a Sheffield cycling club shirt, you’ve travelled 12 miles to get here.”

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Getty Images

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Cycling is one of the three examples of exercise given in government guidelines

A spokesperson from Sharrow CC, Sheffield’s oldest cycling club, said the Hope Valley was “local to our members” and riders were “complying entirely with government guidelines on social distancing” and not riding in group.

They added: “We just believe many people are using the lockdown as an excuse to air their long-held grievances against cyclists, which in our case we believe to be unwarranted and unfair.”

Duncan Dollimore, head of campaigns at Cycling UK, said he believed there was a perception cyclists were “not complying with the rules”.

“We’re seeing quite a few incidents of people in villages saying ‘we don’t want cyclists here, we’re worried about them coming here’,” he said.

Mr Greenhalgh said: “People travelling in from [Sheffield], with one of the highest infection rates in the country, to a rural area, poses a threat.”

In March Sheffield was named as one of the cities with the highest level of coronavirus infections outside of London.

Sheffield City Council said the figures reflected more testing taking place in the city than other areas of the country.

Derbyshire Police was heavily criticised last month, in the early stages of the lockdown, for publishing drone footage of people walking in the Peak District.

Going out for exercise once a day has been one of the reasons for which the government said people could leave their homes ever since restrictions on movement were announced in March, though ministers have stressed people should “stay local” to exercise.

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