Councillors call for improvements to Cinder Track school walking route from Stainsacre to Caedmon College in Whitby

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
There has been further criticism of the council’s ruling that a school walking route from Stainsacre to Caedmon College in Whitby is ‘safe’.

Members of the Scarborough and Whitby Area Constituency Committee have questioned whether official assessments of the school route’s safety are adequate and have called for improvements to the Cinder Track.

North Yorkshire Council evaluated whether the walking route from Stainsacre to Whitby was appropriately safe for children going to school after parents raised concerns.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

It concluded that the route via the Cinder Track is a safe walk to school for children when “accompanied as necessary” despite a lack of street lighting.

North Yorkshire Council's Scarborough and Whitby ACC meeting.Courtesy Anttoni Numminen/LDRSNorth Yorkshire Council's Scarborough and Whitby ACC meeting.Courtesy Anttoni Numminen/LDRS
North Yorkshire Council's Scarborough and Whitby ACC meeting.Courtesy Anttoni Numminen/LDRS

Speaking at the meeting on Friday, June 7, Coun Subash Sharma said that “the whole thing hinges on the definition of ‘reasonable”.

He added: “Personal safety isn’t something that you take into account but it’s the one thing everybody is very concerned about as a parent.”

However, the council’s ‘safe walk route assessor’ defended the assessment which is based on national guidance.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

An officer said: “There is no expectation that children will walk or that they will walk alone, and clearly it is a decision for the parents to make the most suitable arrangements for their child to get to school”.

Council assessment of Stainsacre To Caedmon College walking route.Council assessment of Stainsacre To Caedmon College walking route.
Council assessment of Stainsacre To Caedmon College walking route.

Officers added that the assessment covers “the relationship between the pedestrian and traffic, not other factors that relate to that walking route” such as street lighting.

Coun Heather Phillips said: “I think I would rather my child walk on the Cinder Track than next to a road because there is less conflict with traffic”.

Eskdale closure and walking buses

Members also highlighted that following the controversial closure of Eskdale School, more children would be walking towards Caedmon College via the Cinder Track.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Coun Neil Swannick said: “Following the closure of Eskdakle School, several children will take that route for the first time and I think it would be very useful to put forward the idea of walking buses, where parents take turns walking children to school.”

Coun David Chance also emphasised parental responsibility but added that he also had “concerns about the safety of the Cinder Track”, especially as there would be more children “walking from the east side to Caedmon”

Councillors concluded that they were most concerned with North Yorkshire Council’s responsibility in maintaining the Cinder Track.

They called on the authority to make improvements and recommended the introduction of street lighting, a walking bus, and better pedestrian crossings at school walking routes in Whitby.

Related topics: