Calls for council action after mud drama

TWO women who got stuck knee deep in mud on the beach while the tide was coming in have called for local councils to take immediate action.

Joanne Bell, a regular visitor to the town, has written to Whitby Town Council (WTC) and Scarborough Borough Council (SBC) saying the beach should be closed until it is safe.

Mrs Bell and her mother Christine Pickard (69) were walking on the beach towards Sandsend with Mrs Bell’s dog when they both got stuck knee deep in mud which looked like it was sand.

Mrs Bell had to crawl out of the mud on her stomach to help free her mother with the tide coming in quickly and they managed to escape shaken, wet, cold and muddy.

After returning home to Halifax she put the call for action to the authorities.

She said: “During this usually mad world of health and safety and knowing the instability of those cliff edges I am surprised and angry that as a council you are not patrolling those beaches and ensuring they are safe.

“Surely you have a duty of care to both the citizens of Whitby and the visitors to Whitby? This incident left both me and my Mum quite shaken.

“What I would like to know is why you do not assess the danger of that beach and why were warning signs not put up or indeed the beach closed?

“It is my opinion that that beach is not safe and should be closed until it is made safe.”

John Woodhead, SBC’s Northern Area Engineer said mud slides happen on this stretch of beach quite often and in line with regulations no action will be taken and that nature should take its course.

He added: “It is often hard to spot as it can be covered by a thin layer of sand following tides and winds.

“Warning signs about the mud have been put up in the area and we would ask people to take extra care when on the beach.”