A Letter to the Editor from Ali WILKINS of Scarborough, who writes as a Council Taxpayer, to bemoan the folly that is the Tour de Yorkshire – and to protest the promotion of two more push-bike races in the pipeline (not the WLSO) for 2019. That and the Mayor’s nest – feathered or otherwise.
Spending a penny is a natural thing but not everyone is blessed with the cast iron bladder that Cllr Jenkinson professes to have. He said at a Council meeting that he has no issue, thus he expects anyone who needs a toilet facility on the Marine/Albert Drive to do without. That our Council can slash the number of toilets in our Holiday Resort and then hold a Mayor making free feast at our expense is unacceptable. I note they had ‘pop up’ toilets on Albert Drive for the TdY – perhaps we could have a pop-up Mayor? A cardboard cut-out – less costly and a similar level of training.
Because the road surfacing had been done at the B&M traffic lights and the sensors had not been reinstalled, we and many other Seamer Road users had an interesting experience. A pedestrian on her way out of town from Falsgrave kept passing my car as I drove along Seamer Road. We both reached the B&M traffic lights at the same time! En route we passed numerous yellow signs telling us to ‘expect delays’ during the TdY. I found myself hoping we would at least attain push-bike speed when the race was on.
It is obvious that the neglected St John’s Road, with over 40 repairs and potholes, has never been on the bike race route. I almost lost count whilst trying to dodge the potholes and traverse the speed bumps simultaneously. This road needs speed bumps like a hole in the… never mind. Sadly, we have many roads with similar terrain. I used to detest all those huge 4×4‘s driven by parents on the school run. I still detest their parking prowess but now I realise they are needed to negotiate our pothole-peppered and patchwork roads. This could be one for Welcome to Yorkshire: ‘Come to Scarborough for a SORE – that Special Off-Road Experience’.
I do not understand why Scarborough is a stop or start venue for the TdY every year on an already busy Bank Holiday weekend? There have been recent calls for cash-strapped Councils to justify the cost of this race which runs into hundreds of thousands. Money which could be better used improving the Town for all visitors and residents alike. And I am sure there is a better way of funding this race than using taxpayers’ money.
Then I read today that we are to have yet another two bike races in Yorkshire! The Tour of Spain in August 2019 and the Road World Championships, in September 2019. Well there goes August Bank Holiday for one! Whilst I am pleased that they are coming to Yorkshire, I have deep concerns about the cost to us if we are to host any stages of these two events and what further cuts we will have to endure to fund them.
When being called to justify the cost, Council leaders said recently in the media that “they have a duty to the businesses to promote it as a popular place for people to visit, and studies had shown more than 20 per cent of those at the roadside are from elsewhere in the UK and abroad”.
Of course they are – it is a Bank Holiday weekend!
Scarborough is well-established on the map and is generally heaving with holidaymakers on Bank Holidays. The excellent weather brings more people to the Coast. I think we do well for publicity as we are often on TV in adverts and programmes. As for world-wide publicity, think of all the visitors and residents who post pictures, videos and comments on social media. You only have to put Scarborough into your search engine and click images and there are a host of fabulous pictures.
NYCC Highways department and our Tory Council Leaders will be remembered, believe me.
Ali WILKINS. Scarborough. 17th May 2018.