Letter: When Whitby’s pavements became car parks

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I am a mobility scooter user, through necessity not laziness.

Everyone who knows me, knows this.

The reason for my letter is to ask if anyone can enlighten me as to when the pavements in Whitby became car parks?

I must have missed the planning application somewhere along the way.

I have written about this problem before, a few years ago, where I described the difficulties that face, not just me, but other scooter users and mothers pushing their babies in prams.

One of the biggest obstacles we face is trying to dodge the copious amounts of dog mess, and that, combined with trying to get past the cars parked on most of the public footpaths from Helredale all the way along Church Street, is a bit of a hassle.

And now a further set of obstacles is growing at quite an alarming rate - tables and chairs outside some of the cafes.

I like to get out whenever possible because I never know if I am going to be able to do so.

On Easter Sunday and Monday, I went along Sandgate to get to the shops on there, then decided to go back via the Market Place and down Church Street.

I had to go on the cobbles because the full corner, opposite the Town Hall, and the pavement from the cafe, was impossible for pedestrians to get past.

I’m no killjoy and I know people have a living to make but I can’t understand how it is legal to have those tables and chairs out there. Do the proprietors pay to use the footpaths as outdoor eating places?

If so then I apologise.

It is not just that one cafe though, try going down the pier front.

There are these obstacles there, as well as the added displays of goods on sale outside the various souvenir shops.

Fair enough, they have always been able to have goods on display outside, but with the added tables and chairs, a good half of the pedestrian way is blocked.

Add in the visitors trying to get past, and it is almost impossible for myself and other mobility scooter users, of which there are many in town, to negotiate our way.

So I usually get as far as the Marine cafe/restaurant at the corner of pier road and make my way the back of the pubs and shops.

I try to be a civil person when I am going anywhere, and when I am behind anyone I always say “Excuse me please, may I go past you” rather than press my little buzzer.

I have never been met with anything but politeness and usually get asked if I could give a lift.

The same problem is on Baxtergate and Wellington Road.

I fully expect some backlash from this but if you could see it from the point of view of myself and others then you may understand our difficulties.

I would love to be able to walk around town, but I can’t even walk round shops without great difficulty.

Carolyn Witt

Helredale Gardens

Whitby