Re Cinder Track:
We were interested to read Colin Lomas’ letter, ‘A new path would be a benefit to all’.
He claims there are miles and miles of under-used footpaths in this area.
Indeed there are - on the Ordnance Survey map, but has he attempted to walk them over the last few decades?
Footpaths and bridleways are no longer maintained by local councils for financial reasons.
Consequently, they’ve become increasingly overgrown with mainly brambles and nettles; tree roots, bracken and willowherb. Steps have eroded, fences broken, stiles rotted away, barbed wire placed across gateways, and footpath indicators smashed or reversed!
Is there any wonder folk have given up in despair, or taken shears and secateurs to help clear the way?
Tracks are deeply rutted by motorcycles and farmers’ vehicles, and pot-holes a hazard in wet weather.
Farmers have ploughed out signed public footpaths and planted crops to obliterate access over fields. One farmer even placed a hive of bees on a public footpath to deter walkers.
Another even denied there was a public right of way over his land, until we showed him the map! He soon turned tail and vanished!
Signs indicating, ‘Bull in Field,’ may be genuine or just a hoax to keep the public at bay.
The Cinder Track from Scarborough to Whitby, is a great asset to the community.
Personally I would prefer to retain its natural setting.
Having been a keen cyclist, walker and dog owner all my life, great pleasure and companionship has been discovered along the line. Whilst walking dogs, we’ve been most impressed by the courtesy of passing cyclists.
All have passed the time of day, and thanked us for stepping aside. Families with little children, prams or bicycles have shared the benefits of lovely countryside away from traffic, and steep climbs or obstructions.
We understand that E-bikes are now available for the less able-bodied.
A great idea, to enable more people enjoy life to the full. What about horse-riders too, and maybe eventually scooters? Where does it end?
Surely, it’s the walkers who’ll eventually suffer with being on foot, and cyclists will speed along with little consideration for man or beast.
It’s a difficult situation, but as a walker, it seems that only the Cleveland Way, Centurion Way, Wolds Way and Coast to Coast etc which are regularly used by thousands of hikers, will be available, as more and more village walks vanish for ever.