Project to protect Yorkshire coastal scheme set for go-ahead

The coastline to the north of Whitby
The coastline to the north of Whitby
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A MULTI-MIllion pound scheme to stop a critical Yorkshire coastal road sliding into the sea is set to be given the go-ahead next week.

The project will see work to restore and improve the protection for the A174 north of Whitby and also measures taken to prevent the road being hit by landslips from above.

Members of North Yorkshire County Council’s executive will be recommended to press ahead with the scheme despite just one contractor submitting a bid to complete the project.

The £10 million cost will be split between the County Council and the Government via the Department for the Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Environment Agency.

A report to be considered by the council’s executive next week says: “The scheme is essential for the long term future of the A174 between Teesside and Whitby.”

The stretch of road in question between Whitby and Sandsend runs very close to the shore and sits on coastal defences associated with the former railway.

Major works on the stretch were last carried out in the 1960s and the report says that the authority has had to carry out “urgen works” over the last two winters to repair collapses in the concrete protecting the road from the sea and to clear two landslips on the slope above the road.

One of the repairs was so extensive the road had to be closed and temporary traffic signals were necessary.

A recent study on the state of the road “highlights that the sloping concrete sea defences protecting and supporting the highway are approaching the end of their asset life,” the council report says.

Major council contracts are put out to tender to try and ensure the taxpayer gets the best value for money.

In this case, when the project was first advertised the authority received 62 responses.

Tender documents were subsequently sent out to five contractors but three said they were too busy to carry out the work and a fourth said it would not be bidding because of the “level of risk” associated with the project.

Despite the fact only one bid was submitted councillors are advised to go ahead as the process “has been carried out in accordance with procurement guidelines and the successful tender price is within the budget that has been allocated to the project.”

Councillors are also warned that the Defra cash will only be released if a contract is awarded in the current financial year and the Government’s contribution is fixed so “the County Council will be responsible for any cost overruns.”

The project includes a continency fund to cover risks amounting to £630,000.

Planning permission for the construction work was secured in September last year.

As part of the scheme, new parking spaces will be created on the land side of the A174. These will be pay and display spaces to help manage demand.

The profile of the coastal wall will be changed to make it better able to resist the impact of waves.

Construction work will also be carried out on the land above the road including new drainage to ensure it provides “a stable slop under all conditions”.

The executive will consider the project on Tuesday.