Gate threatening to lock historic passageway at night is ‘unbolted’

The Bolts passageway
The Bolts passageway

Plans to close The Bolts passageway at night have been dealt a blow as authorities say the criteria for installing gates have not been met.

Two Scarborough businessmen had applied to Scarborough Council to gate off the historic passageway which runs behind their eateries in Sandside, to protect their staff from anti-social behaviour at night.

The authority said the matter was not under its remit, and said Guilian Alonzi, who owns Harbour Bar icecream parlour and submitted the application, would have to apply to North Yorkshire County Council.

However before Mr Alonzi has formally put his request to the county council, the authority has said it would not be will to grant a gating order.

A spokesperson for the council said: “North Yorkshire County Council as the highways authority does have the power to make gating orders but only when there is a known and persistent problem with crime or anti-social behaviour. However, North Yorkshire Police has previously indicated that The Bolts does not fit this criteria.”

Following the council’s comment a spokesman for North Yorkshire Police told the Scarborough News: “We are continuing to monitor the levels of anti-social behaviour in the area and will review our decision regarding whether a gate is required, if there is a change in circumstances or increased levels of anti-social behaviour. This will be undertaken in conjunction with partner agencies and the local community.”

The rejection of a gating order has been met with delight by protesters who opposed the night-time closure for fear part of the town’s heritage would be lost. Laurin Mainprize, who headed the Save the Bolts campaign, and who lives in the only residential property in The Bolts, said: “We have fought so hard for this. It has taken over our lives researching it, and we’re delighted it’s all over now.”

Mr Alonzi, who is still seeking a night time gating order for The Bolts, said: “We haven’t formally submitted our application to the County Council yet so I don’t know how they can reject an application they haven’t received.

“We are still looking at putting together our submission and are still working on it. We won’t give up; life is too short.

“An evening closure of this short length of passage would be of great benefit to the people that work for me, and other businesses that back onto The Bolts that open after 5pm.

“I have great respect for the people that work for me and I will do everything I can to keep them safe.

“The Bolts are part of the Old Town which people are proud of, and I understand that, but that does not stop this being a dangerous place at night.”