CCTV to be added to upgraded South Bank-to-Ormesby cycle path to combat nuisance bikers

A former narrow, enclosed section of the path before its upgrade
-Credit: (Image: Sustrans)

More than £40,000 is to be invested in CCTV cameras for an upgraded Teesside cycle route in a bid to deter anti-social behaviour.

A two mile section of the Black Path between Harcourt Road, South Bank and Ormesby High Street - also known locally as The Lines - has been subject to improvements carried out by Redcar and Cleveland Council which were completed last autumn.

These have included a new, widened sealed tarmac surface, embedded ‘solar eye’ lighting, the clearing of overgrown vegetation to make the area feel brighter and less enclosed, and replacing restrictor barriers with chicanes compliant with cycle and active travel infrastructure guidance issued to local authorities.

This latter element was intended to make it more accessible for wheelchair users, along with the likes of mobility scooters and people with pushchairs. Now a total of £40,550 has now been signed off for six new CCTV cameras and associated equipment set to be installed by September.

A delegated decision report explaining the investment said: “Despite support for the new look route, concern remains about the level of anti-social behaviour using scrambler motorbikes and quad [bikes].

“This activity is now more visible due to the greater public presence along the route. As part of a wider package of actions it is proposed to fit CCTV along the section of upgraded route to help mitigate the issue.”

Money for the improvements and CCTV has come from the organisation Sustrans, a charity which is responsible for the National Cycle Network and administers funding from the Department of Transport. In 2022, £665,000 was awarded to the council by Sustrans to provide a safer and more accessible route for cyclists and pedestrians.

Cabinet member for highways and transport, Councillor Carl Quartermain, who gave a speech at a ribbon cutting ceremony celebrating the upgrade, previously described it as an “amazing transformation”, while local residents said the changes made it “loads better”.

A ribbon cutting ceremony to mark the improvements took place last year
A ribbon cutting ceremony to mark the improvements took place last year -Credit:Philip Chisholm

The report for council members referenced how the CCTV installation would run parallel to an upgrade of the council’s CCTV control room and a camera replacement programme funded by a Levelling Up award to the council confirmed in February this year. CCTV camera masts on the route would have to be fitted in locations with good visibility, but affording privacy for any adjacent houses, the report said.

The once entirely cinder-covered Black Path was at one time regularly used by steel and iron workers commuting between home and their shifts and is now part of the designated National Cycle Network Route 1, along with the Teesdale Way and England Coast Path routes.