Survey discovers that “Whitby’s too far from York”

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A SURVEY carried out by the Whitby Civic Society on 25 June produced surprising results, including responses that criticised the town for having too many steep hills and for being too far away from York.

Many other responses highlighted residents’ opinions of how the town could be improved and the civic society intends to bring these findings to the attention of local councillors.

Whitby Civic Society’s Doreen Wort said: “The survey was a worthwhile exercise and people seemed pleased to express some of their frustrations.

“We were left with the impression that a book for people to give their ideas should be prominently and permanently displayed in the library and regularly looked at by our councillors.

“Many things can not be changed, but perhaps some others could be.”

The survey took place at the library on Civic Day (25 June) and forty people gave their opinions.

Many of those surveyed complemented the architecture and culture of Whitby and residents were described as friendly and independent-minded.

Many other people did have concerns, which they were happy to highlight.

These included the lack of jobs, the restricted hours at the hospital and the loss of the mobile library service.

The poor bus and train services were also an issue as was the congestion caused by the large number of tourists and the insufficiency of parking and public toilets.

Mrs Wort added: “Rather surprisingly, the main subject of complaint was the lack of variety in the shops available to residents and the over-emphasis on tourist shops.

“Although several people had said that they approved of the absence of chain stores which has helped to maintain the character of the town, many others would like to be able to buy goods and services in the town rather than using an inadequate transport network to travel elsewhere.

“One member of the public from a nearby village said that she tries to avoid coming to Whitby during the summer because of the crowds and the lack of affordable parking.

“As she said, ‘Whitby is a lovely place but it is becoming a victim of its own success’.”