Senior councillors have given the go-ahead for a major £9m project to protect a main coastal route from the elements.
The scheme will replace worn-out coastal defences along a 1km stretch of the A174 which runs very close to the shoreline between Whitby and Sandend.
Over the years the tourist route has suffered from a history of landslips and as a result North Yorkshire County Council has had to undertake costly repairs. Over the last two winters the authority has had to carry out urgent repair work to collapses in the concrete defences as well as to slips above the road, leading to the closure of the road and diversions.
“We are very pleased that this important work is now going ahead,” said County Councillor David Chance.
“We have pushed very hard for this and it has been a long time coming, so it is good news indeed for both the local and business community that the project will now be starting.”
Members of the council’s executive backed the project, which will see the old concrete coastal defences replaced and work to stabilise the slope above the road paid for by £4.5m from the county council and £4.7m from the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).
As part of this work the opportunity will also be taken to introduce additional parking places on the landward side of the A174 where feasible.
“This is a crucial project for us”, County Councillor Gareth Dadd, North Yorkshire’s executive member for highways, said yesterday.
“Both the slope above the road and the coastal defences are in need of urgent attention so now we have awarded the contract we can get on with the job.
“The restructuring of this stretch of coastal highway represents a significant financial commitment from both the county council and Defra, but the A174 at this point is a major tourist route and is therefore essential for the economic prosperity of the area,” County Councillor Dadd added.