The group devising plans to restore one of the most popular walking and cycling routes in Whitby won’t reveal the detail on where the nature walk will be tarmacked, despite growing concern.
Your Gazette has sought to obtain specific detail on the areas where tarmac could be installed along the 21-mile Whitby to Scarborough Cinder Track, with the group just saying it won’t tarmac the full route.
A Sustrans spokesman said: “This is a draft Restoration Plan at the moment, so it only includes broad principles.
“If the plan is approved by Scarborough Borough Council in September, and at their Cabinet in October, there will be further work on details such as surface types, as well as a funding source for the project.”
There has been a huge public backlash, with more than 4,000 petition signatures collected over several months opposing proposals put forward by Sustrans, which suggested
that the Cinder Track would be modified, prompting fears that it would become a “cycle motorway” at the expense of walkers.
Rupert Douglas, Sustrans Network development manager for Yorkshire, said: “We are very clear that a tarmac surface is not suitable and is not appropriate for the whole 21.5 miles, so we have provided information about alternative surface options for consideration at sensitive locations such as in the North York Moors National Park. There’ll need to be more consultation with local communities about these options in more detail as part of the planning process.”
But without having the facts available on the tarmac-laying areas, a petition opposing the plans has shot up to more than 4,000 signatures, with key concerns also on the speed at which cyclists might travel, as well as the impact that widening the track would have on trees and verges.
Heather Dale, of Robin Hood’s Bay, who is leading the campaign, said that along with the thousands of online signatures, more than 1,000 have also been collected in printed form.
Bob McGovern, also from the Bay added: “I hope that councillors will approach these proposals with an open mind and take due account of the overwhelming strength of the opposition to them.”
The borough council intends to present the draft plan to its Overview and Scrutiny Board for consideration next month.
Campaigners have made their protest petition available online for anyone who wants to find out more about their concerns about the plans for Scarborough to Whitby Cinder Track although the central question on the scale of tarmac-laying is not included, causing continued concern.
The petition can be viewed online at: www.change.org/p/scarborough-borough-council-save-our-cinder-track.