'Unauthorised' bike track in Scarborough will not be removed due to 'significant cost', says council

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A “pragmatic approach” will be taken with regard to an unauthorised bike track that has been built on council land as it would be too expensive to remove it.

Scarborough Council has said that due to the “significant cost of removal”, it will take a “pragmatic approach” and not remove an unauthorised bike track which is located on council land in the Northstead ward.

The issue was raised at a full meeting of Scarborough Council on Monday, November 7, when Cllr John Atkinson, who represents the Northstead ward, asked why the council “has not fulfilled its responsibility in maintaining the land”.

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He said: “As I understand it, the land is owned by the council who have not given permission for this work to be carried out, and which is, therefore, an illegal act.”

Cllr John AtkinsonCllr John Atkinson
Cllr John Atkinson

He said that in the past two years activity at the track had increased and had caused “significant disturbance to the residents whose properties back onto the Beck”.

He added: “As far as I’m aware, the council has taken no action at all on the residents’ complaints and problems suffered, including problems with vehicle noise, parking, and fires”.

Responding to Cllr Atkinson’s question, the cabinet member for quality of life, Cllr Jim Grieve, said he was familiar with the case and that the site has been used informally for biking, with “fairly substantial ramps constructed more recently”.

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He said: “On one hand, to some degree, it’s a nuisance and potential conflict between other users in the area.

Cllr Jim GrieveCllr Jim Grieve
Cllr Jim Grieve

“On the other hand, we have a facility that has been created by and is no doubt providing enjoyment for a local group of bikers and younger people. No doubt there would be many users who would object strongly were the council to dig out the ramps that have been constructed.”

Cllr Grieve added that there would be “a significant cost to removal” and that the ramps would have to be “physically dug out by hand”.

According to the cabinet member, council officers and members carefully considered the complaints about nuisance and anti-social behaviour, and reviewed all the calls made to the police regarding the site over the past few years.

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The council was told that though the site has been used for parties and gatherings, they are “absolutely nothing connected to the bike track and facilities”.

Cllr Grieve concluded that having considered a range of options regarding the bike ramps, at present, the authority was “taking a bit of a pragmatic view”.

He said that while “there is no formal permission for the bikers to construct ramps and use them this way” the council “is not intending to actively remove them”.

He added: “Having carefully considered all the issues, we don’t feel that the cost associated with the physical removal can be justified at this time”.