Major repairs for cliff lift clear first hurdle

The closed cliff lift''w132812a
The closed cliff lift''w132812a

Whitby’s out of action West Cliff lift is likely to be repaired this winter after major repairs costing £85,000 were approved by senior councillors.

The lift was closed by the borough council for safety reasons since the Spring Bank holiday, prompting anger and a petition from beach hut users who are calling for a refund of half their annual rent.

Now the council’s cabinet have given their backing to a report by Martin Pedley, asset and risk manager for the council.

The report listed three options which they had to consider - to close the lift altogether, carry out essential work to reinstate the lift costing £85,250 or for minimum works to be carried out to decommission the facility estimated at £57,500.

Councillors recommended approving the £85,000 costs of the work which will be funded from the council’s Capital Development Reserve and to authorise the procurement of contractors to carry it out.

The final decision will now be made by the full borough council at its next meeting on September 9.

Mayfield ward councillor, David Chance, who is responsible for tourism and culture across the borough, told the Whitby Gazette: “It’s something I’ve been pushing for since day one.

“For me it was never an option to close the lift altogether. I would have fought tooth and nail.

“The work will be carried out in the winter, it won’t be done this season.”

Coun Chance, who himself once operated the lift in his youth, added he was pleased with the way the six seater golf buggy laid on the council has been operating, despite some people claiming they had been left waiting.

Whitby’s West Cliff lift opened in 1931 and provides public access from the promenade at the top of the cliff to the beach below via a 30 metre lift shaft leading to a 75 metre long pedestrian tunnel.

Risks highlighted in the report included an adverse reaction from “stakeholders” if the work was not carried out.