The Isle of Wight Council are reassuring residents that they are taking the issue ‘very seriously’ and have experts on-site looking at making it safe following a landslip earlier this week.
Council officials say that the first priority is the safety of residents and therefore substantial water-filled temporary barriers have been installed to close off vehicular access to the affected part of Belgrave Road. Esplanade Road is also closed in case the road above falls.
While there is still pedestrian access along this route, pedestrian barriers have also been placed around the affected area to keep the public safe and prevent access to this section of the road. In addition, pedestrian barriers are being placed in Esplanade Road below the affected area, as a precaution against falling materials.
Whilst the cause of the incident is still to be determined, the Council say that the action in the short-term is to monitor the ongoing deterioration of the situation, which indicates the wall is at significant risk of failure.
Engineers are assessing safe methods for accessing this area and removing the failed section in a manner that does not increase the risk to adjacent infrastructure such as gas and water. The Isle of Wight Council say this is not an easy task, given the failure conditions and the safety of any workforce operating in this section needs to be a high priority.
Once the immediate risk of failure is resolved, either by intervention or by natural deterioration of the failure area, attention will move to investigating the longer-term solution for the repair of this section of road and the surrounding structures.
To ensure the ongoing safety of residents this section of road will need to remain closed for the foreseeable future. The Council are working with local residents who have vehicles within the site to ensure these can be safely located in another area.
A spokesperson for the Isle of Wight Council has said:
“We appreciate the inconvenience and concern this incident has caused and we would like to assure the community that we will do all we can, as quickly as we are able, to deliver both a short-term and longer-term solution.
“We are delivering letters today to residents and businesses in the affected area and will also be liaising with local members and the parish council to ensure they are kept informed.
“We will continue to monitor the situation and advise people as soon as possible of any changes”.
Residents can contact Island Roads on 01983 822440, or via email at [email protected].