Letters: Too many unanswered questions over Whitby piers

Large waves on the slipway in Whitby during a tidal surge. The huge waves lifted half-tonne sandbags off the slipway as well as washing away bins and an ice cream kiosk was lifted off its foundations. Onlookers said a woman was lifted off her feet and carried down Pier Road. Picture: Ceri Oakes. Friday 13 January 2017. w170303q
Large waves on the slipway in Whitby during a tidal surge. The huge waves lifted half-tonne sandbags off the slipway as well as washing away bins and an ice cream kiosk was lifted off its foundations. Onlookers said a woman was lifted off her feet and carried down Pier Road. Picture: Ceri Oakes. Friday 13 January 2017. w170303q

The planning applications associated with the refurbishment of the main Whitby piers deserve support.

However, these applications raise a number of questions that require answers:

The approved Scarborough Borough Council Finance Strategy 2017/2027 scheduled the work for 2019/20.

However, the applications advise that the work will commence in December 2017.

But Cllr Cockerill talks about starting work in 2018.

Without funding, dates are meaningless.

Has Scarborough Borough Council now committed or secured the additional £3.5m to carry out the Phase 1 repairs?

Cllr Cockerill also announced that surveys carried out earlier in the year suggest that there are now fewer voids than Royal Haskoning’s previous estimate of 12000m3.

The compliance assessment within the planning applications now quantifies the voids at 7500m3, a volume equivalent to 77 double decker buses. The cost of filling such a void is circa £3m. Has such a cost been included in Balfour Beatty’s final quotation?

How are materials for concreting and grouting going to be delivered to the East Pier?

If they are to be delivered along the designated route of the Swing Bridge/Church Street/Henrietta Street; then further questions arise.

What measures will be taken to comply with the 7.5T weight limit on the Swing Bridge?

How will pedestrians on this route be protected?

How will access be maintained for authorised residents’ vehicles and shop deliveries?

Will the cobbles be protected?

Materials for the West Pier are to be delivered along Pier Road.

How will the numerous pedestrians be protected and how will disruption to businesses be minimised?

In 2009 Royal Haskoning condemned four defective ladders on the main piers, because falls could lead to ‘severe injury/potentially fatal.’ Why are these ladders not being replaced as part of the Phase 1 works?

Under current health and safety legislation what justification can there be for not providing handrails on the East Pier?

The seaward side of the East Pier is exposed to the very worst of the elements.

Much of the stonework with open joints is to be pointed with specialist mortar.

What is the anticipated life of such pointing?

The current state of the Whitby piers is the product of inadequate inspection and a total lack of maintenance.

Vin McLaughlan

Egton Bridge

Whitby