Cinder track’s future under the spotlight

The cinder track
The cinder track

Scarborough MP and roads minister Robert Goodwill has met with local representatives to discuss maintenance issues on the old cinder track.

People at the meeting included representatives from the North York Moors National Park Authority, Scarborough Borough Council, Sustrans, North Yorkshire County Council Health and Wellbeing, Groundwork North Yorkshire, Gateway Whitby and Friends of the Old Railway.

They cycled five miles from the Scarborough constituency office to Station Tea Rooms in Cloughton where they discussed the serious ongoing maintenance issues for the cinder track.

Rupert Douglas, Sustrans area manager, explained that there needs to be vision for the old Scarborough and Whitby Railway Line as it is a very important part of the National Cycle Route 1.

The route links with North Sea Cycle Route, also known as EuroVelo Route 12.

The 22-mile section of the line is the longest off-road section on Route 1.

Mr Douglas stressed that the potential health and tourism benefits are enormous, particularly as North Yorkshire is the location of Le Grand Depart for the 2014 Tour de France and Sustrans with York City Council are promoting a Cycle Yorkshire campaign.

The meeting was called to identify priorities for work on the track and to ask Mr Goodwill’s advice on funding sources.

Richard Gunton of the National Park said: “There are pots of money that might be available for ‘shovel-ready’ schemes to make the best of this wonderful route for local people, visitors and wildlife.”

He added: “The benefits that can be gained from bringing the Cinder Track to its best are enormous with every pound spent bringing more than twice that in return by supporting local businesses and improving health”.

Representatives from Whitby told Mr Goodwill that the Whitby end of the track is very well used by the children at Caedmon School and the Community College.

Steps have been installed to link the two schools - this is particularly important as there are plans to merge the two schools shortly, so transit between the two schools could be all off-road by using the cinder track.