Scarborough borough councillors will be asked to back a £3.5 million plan to restore and rejuvenate a 21-mile stretch of former railway line.
The draft Cinder Track Restoration Plan has been produced by Scarborough Borough Council, which owns the track which runs Scarborough and Whitby.
The plans will go before the authority’s overview and scrutiny board on Wednesday (5th) where councilors will be asked to recommend the scheme to the full council.
It follows the dropping of a plan put forward by national cycling charity Sustrans earlier this year which lead to almost 3,000 people signing a petition against the proposals. In particular, there was anger over plans to widen parts of the track and to Tarmac a number of sections.
The council’s new restoration plan includes a proposal to keep the current track width, introduce passing places at narrow points, and install chicanes and gates where there is the potential for speeding cyclists. Tarmac would be used in certain locations, but none in rural areas where there is no vehicular traffic.
The report, which will go before councillors next week states: “There is no doubt that we are at a crossroads when it comes to the track and the status quo is not an option – leave the track as it is and it will gradually erode further and become more overgrown.
“Investment in the track is necessary to preserve this valued resource for years to come. The result is a plan containing a comprehensive package of improvement and management proposals which aim to make the best and most appropriate use of this valuable resource for all sections of the community.”
The council will commit an initial £70,000 a year to the maintenance of the track and £20,000 to further the ecological surveys that have bee carried out so far.
It hopes to raise the £3.5million through grants and funding.
The rail line which now forms the Cinder Track opened in 1885 but was closed in 1965 under the Beeching Review.
Five years later it was bought by the local authority with the aim of creating a long-distance recreational trail.