Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Undercliff Drive: Reinstating landslip road could cost £2m

Undercliff Drive subsidence Image copyright Isle of Wight council
Image caption Undercliff Drive has been closed to through traffic since February 2014

Rebuilding a road which collapsed five years ago "cannot be beyond our engineering capability", a council leader has said.

The A3055 Undercliff Drive between Ventor and Niton has been closed since a landslip in February 2014.

Eight houses were evacuated and two remained cut off until a temporary access route was created in 2016.

Isle of Wight Council now says it plans to reinstate the road and is asking the views of residents.

"My view is it cannot be beyond our engineering capability to find a way to remedy a landslip of less than 100 metres," council leader Dave Stewart said.

"We have houses and business spread along the length of the undercliff but the economic damage of the closure has spread well beyond these areas with businesses as far away as the West Wight also noticing a drop in trade and tourism following the closure."

Image copyright Isle of Wight council
Image caption Two sections of the A3055 Undercliff Drive suffered landslips in February 2014

The authority said the cost of producing a design to reopen the road was expected to be about £200,000 while the total bill could be between £1m and £2m, depending on whether the scheme allowed two-way traffic or restricted vehicles by weight.

It said, whatever the solution, ground movement would continue.

Infrastructure councillor Ian Ward said: "It's a complex issue that doesn't lend itself to a quick solution, but my view is the island needs to have this road open and we should be making every effort to do so despite the obvious challenges."

A six-week consultation starts on Friday.

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