Scarborough borough councillors have praised 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 went before the authority’s overview and scrutiny board today and the councilors 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 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.
Cllr Godfrey Allanson (Con) told the board that the plans were “the only way to secure the future of the track”.
He added: “I would like to see the track restored to its former glory.”
Cllr Jane Mortimer (Con) said the plan was the result of a lot of hard work and public engagement.
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 been carried out so far.
It 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.