A consultation on plans to reopen Undercliff Drive to traffic is being launched by the Isle of Wight Council today (Friday).
The Isle of Wight Council is seeking the views of residents, businesses and visitors on reinstate the road.
Undercliff Drive suffered significant landslips in 2014 and the local authority is proposing to work with leading geotechnical consultants to design a scheme to reinstate the A3055 between Ventnor and Niton.
Council leader and a local ward member, Councillor Dave Stewart, said:
“My view is it cannot be beyond our engineering capability to find a way to remedy a landslip of less than 100 metres. 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.
“However, while my personal views and that of the Cabinet are clear, we acknowledge others may take a different view and this consultation seeks to gauge public support for the plans.”
Undercliff Drive was affected by major ground movement during the very wet winter of 2013/14. The landslides led to the loss of the road at two locations, land-locking nine homes between the two sites.
In 2016, access was restored to them, along with through-access for walkers, cyclists and horse riders.
The cost of producing a design to re-open the road to traffic is estimated to be around £200,000. The cost to re-instate the road is estimated to be between £1 million and £2 million.
Ground movement will continue in the future though and any investment in the area will need to take this into account.
Councillor Ian Ward, Cabinet member for infrastructure and transport, added:
“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. However, any decision will only be taken after consultation with Islanders and we are encouraging everyone to get involved.”
Read the consultation and take part HERE for the next six weeks.