Tyne & Wear

Landslip-hit Rothbury road to be closed for nine months

Landslip on the B6344, Rothbury
Image caption Northumberland County Council has set up permanent barriers around the damage

The main road into a Northumberland town will remain closed for at least nine months after it was cracked in four places by a landslip.

Northumberland County Council said the B6344 at Rothbury was "highly unstable" after it was damaged on 26 December.

Engineers estimate that repairs along the 300m stretch could cost up to £3m.

Business owners in Rothbury said they were concerned about the effect on trade.

A diversion through Longframlington adds four miles (6.5km) to the usual journey time.

The council said work would be complicated by the fact the area is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

Councillor Alan Thompson said: "We anticipate that it will be around three months until the site investigation and material testing has been completed and a preferred solution has been identified."

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