The Cinder Track between Scarborough and Whitby is to receive £1.1 million to improve users’ access and experience, promote environmentally sustainable methods of travel, facilitate active lifestyles and help to support wildlife.
The Department for Transport has announced that it is awarding £850,000 in funding to facilitate significant improvements to the Scarborough end of the Cinder Track.
The news follows another funding bid for £315,000 awarded earlier this year, which will be used to improve the northern end of the Cinder Track near Whitby, including better access for the community living in the Larpool area of the town. Both funding bids were made by Sustrans, in partnership with Scarborough Borough Council, which owns the Cinder Track.
The condition of the 21.5 miles of off-road track, which attracts thousands of resident and visiting walkers, cyclists and horse riders every year, has deteriorated in recent years and in certain locations is not adequately connected to local communities.
The £1.1 million government funding package will allow accessibility to be improved for all users, including people with mobility scooters, wheelchairs or buggies.
Cllr Steve Siddons, Leader of Scarborough Borough Council, said: “I am delighted that the council, in partnership with Sustrans, has secured £1m of funding to undertake the restoration and deliver improvements to the urban sections of the track from Scarborough to Scalby and from Hawsker to Whitby. It is a great opportunity to further promote green travel, leisure activities and enhance this important wildlife corridor.
“I would love to see further green developments as opportunities arise, including linking the Cinder Track to Scarborough Railway Station and extending cycle ways through Weaponness, the Mere and Musham Bank. This would create a continuous green corridor from the north of Scarborough to Eastfield and Crossgates, ensuring safe routes for cyclists and walkers.”
Sustrans works with local authorities and partners across Yorkshire to help improve the National Cycle Network and to help more people walk and cycle everyday journeys.
Access and surface improvements on the National Cycle Network were part of Sustrans’ recommendations in its Paths for Everyone report, a review of the network, released last year.
The report highlights the need for the network to be accessible for all and designed to a standard that would be suitable for an unaccompanied 12 year old.
Rosslyn Colderley, Director of Sustrans in the North of England said: “I’m delighted to win this much-needed funding for the Cinder Track. This beautiful and popular route has huge potential to provide a green corridor for people walking or cycling to schools and local businesses and could open up a developing market for sustainable tourism in the area.”
The works will be delivered in accordance with the adopted Restoration Plan, previously approved by the council following public consultation, and will involve improvements to the surface, access and safety between Scarborough and Scalby. Similar works will be undertaken at the Whitby end between Stakesby Vale and Larpool Viaduct.
Ecological surveys of both sites are underway and all partners are committed to enhancing the local environment and protecting local wildlife as part of the scheme. The project will be
delivered by March 2021 and will be overseen by the Cinder Track Steering Group, which is made up of representatives of key stakeholder and local interest groups.
Further bids for funding to improve rural sections of the track between Scalby and Hawsker will be submitted in the future as and when suitable funding streams become available.