DETAILS OF a £9million scheme to re-enforce a major tourist route which is prone to landslips along the Yorkshire seafront are going on public display for the first time.
A section of the main A174 coastal road between Whitby and Sandsend has repeatedly been shut for urgent repairs after increasingly frequent collapses of worn-out concrete coastal defences beneath the road.
Landslips from a boulder clay slope above the road has also seen the road locked down.
But North Yorkshire County Council plans to bring an end to the disruption by starting work on a new scheme next month. The work involves redesigning and stabilising the inland slope and reconstructing the coastal defences.
The scheme was highlighted as a priority in the County Council’s 2011-16 Local Transport Plan and will be funded by a £4.548m contribution from the County Council and another £4.786m from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).
Members of the public can see the plans for themselves during a drop-in exhibition at the Pyman Institute in Sandsend on Wednesday, May 27, between 2pm and 7pm.
County Councillor David Chance, a member of Scarborough Borough Council, said: “We are very pleased that this important work is about to start and this exhibition will give everybody a chance to look at the detail and ask questions about what is involved.
“We have pushed very hard to make sure that the defences are replaced before a more significant failure could occur, so it is good news indeed for both the local and business community that the project will now be starting.
“The renewal of protection for this stretch of coastal highway represents a significant financial commitment from both the County Council and Defra.
“The A174 at this point is a major tourist route and is therefore essential for the economic prosperity of the area.”
The 1km stretch of road that is being protected as part of the scheme is just one area of the Yorkshire coast that is a cause for concern as a result of coastal erosion.
Over the next century, more than 200 homes are predicted to disappear over the cliff edges between Flamborough Head, near Bridlington, and Spurn Point, 45 miles south.
People living in the Skipsea area are expecting about 20 homes in their village alone to disappear in the next few years.
In February, Sir Greg Knight urged Government Ministers to visit the fast-deteriorating coastline for themselves to see the extent of the problems.
Defra provides Pathfinder grants to help seaside residents to relocate but East Riding of Yorkshire Council has been pressing for a dedicated fund to help manage the effects of coastal erosion in the region.
North Yorkshire County Council officers and representatives from Balfour Beatty, which has been awarded the contract for the A174 scheme, will be on hand to take questions at the exhibition in Sandsend next Wednesday.
As part of the project, additional parking spaces are being proposed on the landward side of the road.
The work is not expected to be complete before April 2016. The road will remain open but the Council is warning of traffic disruption as the work progresses.