Safety concerns over plans to demolish footbridge at Scarborough's North Bay miniature railway

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Safety concerns have been raised over plans to demolish a footbridge and redirect pedestrians to a level crossing over Scarborough's North Bay miniature railway

Scarborough Borough Council is behind the plans for the footbridge which has been closed since 2020 and described as "severely defective".

The council wants to upgrade an existing level crossing as part of its plans, but residents and councillors have raised concerns that more people using the crossing will increase the risk of accidents with oncoming trains.

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There are also concerns over access for disabled people who have to navigate a spring loaded gate.

North Bay miniature railway in Scarborough.North Bay miniature railway in Scarborough.
North Bay miniature railway in Scarborough.

Resident John Sissens said demolishing the bridge would be a backward step for safety and inclusion.

He told a council meeting on Thursday: "Young families with pushchairs, children and especially wheelchair users struggle today to navigate the spring loaded swing gates.

"The footbridge has provided a safe crossing for more than 50 years.

"It was practicable 50 years ago, why not now?"

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Cllr Bill Chatt, who represents the Woodlands ward, also said the footbridge has been well used and should be repaired or replaced.

He said not doing this to save money is "really not the thing to do."

Cllr Chatt said: "When families go down to the crossing children tend to run because they are keen and excited to get down to the beach.

"At the moment it's very safe because going across a bridge you are isolated from the trains, but if you go onto the tracks there could be all sorts of incidents.

"The miniature railway has a really good safety record.

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"I think there has only been one accident since the time it has been there.

"But all of a sudden we are going to be putting more people onto the tracks.

"To do this to save money is inappropriate.

"People's safety must come first."

Councillors voted to defer a decision on the plans at Thursday's meeting.

They asked for more information on the plans to upgrade the level crossing which currently include a widening of the crossing area, an anti-slip surface and improved signage.

Councillors also suggested a traffic light or automated gate locking system could be installed to alert pedestrians to oncoming trains.