Scarborough Council’s cabinet has moved forward with 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 between Scarborough and Whitby.
The plans went before the authority’s cabinet today (Tuesday) and the councillors voted 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 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.
Cllr Hazel Lynskey (Con), who led the task group which oversaw the plans, said that she hoped the plans would put minds at ease.
She said: “We had public meetings, they were volatile and tense but we listened and now we have people on our side with these plans.
“We can give people a bit of good news today.”
Cabinet members praised the work that had gone into producing the draft plan but due to the fact the scheme requires the council to commit an initial £70,000 a year to the maintenance of the track and £20,000 for further ecological surveys the decision must be taken by the full council when it meets on March 1.
Scarborough Council hopes to raise the £3.5million for the restoration scheme 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.