Thegrabenventnormay2024cars

FURTHER DESPAIR FOR VENTNOR AS THE GRABEN TO CLOSE FOR 2 WEEKS OR LONGER

All traffic heading in and out of Ventnor will soon have to divert via Whitwell as The Graben is set to be closed for a 2-week period, Island Roads has revealed.

Newport Road – 1 of just 2 routes into the town at present – looks set to be closed in both directions for a fortnight, either in June or during the Summer holidays, with a decision still to be made about when is best for the major disruption to occur.

At a public meeting last night (Tuesday), the Isle of Wight Council and Island Roads expressed concern about works that need to be carried out by Southern Water to manage their ‘apparatus’ in the road – understood to be drainage. It was explained that the works will take around 2 weeks to complete, but if the apparatus fails before the repair is carried out then emergency works will take ‘a lot longer’.

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It’s been earmarked for the project to take place during school term time in June, although another option being explored is to wait until the school holidays in August but this would then impact the Summer tourist season. There is a no-win situation with schoolchildren likely having to walk from Lower to Upper Ventnor.

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Last night’s meeting in Ventnor where details of The Graben closure were revealed

Reassurances have been given that traffic management plans have been developed with Southern Water, but in any eventuality, the road will end up closed with all traffic travelling through the village of Whitwell to Godshill.

Locals have raised concerns that if Whitwell Road was to be closed for whatever reason – such as a fire, crash or carriageway repairs – then the town of Ventnor would be completely cut off by road. Other concerns are around the length of the closure, with doubts as to whether a 2-week scheme is realistic or whether it could snowball into a much longer closure.

Council officials have joked in the past that if the town needed to be evacuated then they would have to call in the Royal Navy…

The news comes alongside confirmation that Leeson Road is to remain closed until at least September, when a decision will be made whether to re-open the road with a early warning alert system in place.

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Gills Cliff Road is to also remain closed for the timebeing due to cracks and fissures in the cliff face. Island Roads has concerns regarding the stability of the rock and says it cannot reasonably guarantee that a further cliff fall will not occur. The current plan is to manage the immediate risks through anchored netting around the cliff face, similar to Belgrave Road.

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The current situation at Gills Cliff Road

On Bath Road, a closure remains in place between The Royal Hotel and La Falaise Car Park due to the collapse of a private garden wall. Island Roads says it is locked in a legal battle with the landowner, who has not cooperated with the local authority. Legal notices have been served but refuted.

It’s said that once access to the land has been secured it will take 3-4 months to investigate, design and build a repair – so it isn’t unrealistic to think that Bath Road will remain closed for the remainder of 2024 and certainly for the duration of the Summer season.

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Bath Road remains closed due to the collapse of a private wall

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Sure4Law
Sure4Law
1 month ago

Buses, HGV’s and large vans cannot pass on the narrow sections between Whitwell and Godshill. This caused complete chaos last time. Will wide vehicles be diverted (with enforcement) via Niton? Will on-street parking be suspended in Whitwell & Niton? Needs to be as well as on primary routes in Ventnor

Sandown Sam
Sandown Sam
Reply to  Sure4Law
1 month ago

I doubt it, they cannot even top vehicles on Double yellow lines.

I was walking my dogs this evening along the revetment in Sandown
saw plod walking past the Pier, and saw 2 plod on cycles cycling past the PIER
Yet they turned a blind eye to the vehicles parked on Double yellow lines

The vehicles do not have blue badges, I don’t think plod know the rules / highway code.

I thought it was funny, earlier on in the day the Councils Gestapo enforcement officer
was slapping tickets on vehicles along the High Street who were obviously parked
longer than an Hour.

YET PARKING ON DOUBLE YELLOW LINES OUTSIDE SANDOWN PIER IS
ACCEPTABLE

Steve
Steve
Reply to  Sure4Law
1 month ago

Buses will likely terminate in Wroxall. People won’t be happy but it is what it is unfortunately. Perhaps vectis will run a shuttle bus to Ventnor via Godshill and Whitwell.

ExtraD
ExtraD
1 month ago

Island roads should take notes from how the US handles the Francis Scott key bridge collapse, no messing about whilst businesses get strangled.

Stan the man
Stan the man
Reply to  ExtraD
1 month ago

I think your find it’s not island roads issue it’s the Isle of Wight councils problem bug yet again little knowledge is dangerous with keyboard warriors!!!

ExtraD
ExtraD
Reply to  Stan the man
1 month ago

Whatever, they are all nerds, need to stop wearing the coffee machine out with all their bullshit meetings

No doubt Island roads is trying to wring every penny out of the council for the repair work

Thats what IWCC get for outsourcing pothole filling and line painting

bobthebuilder
bobthebuilder
1 month ago

Look let’s get this straight ventnor and all that area is going to keep moving ..going down to the sea it’s a fact and nothing is going to stop it..it’s sad but true..people are going to have to relocate its inevitable…

bobthebuilder
bobthebuilder
Reply to  bobthebuilder
1 month ago

Really so you think its going to get better…

Kevin Pidwell
Kevin Pidwell
Reply to  bobthebuilder
1 month ago

Could have been put more tactfully, but alas very true. Throwing billions of pounds at it would only be a sticking plaster make over. It would be like cladding Arch Rock with scaffolding in its final days. Most money will be spent on monitoring equipment that will only have the same effect as the bell calling ‘last orders’. Other than that it’s only patch work to keep the system open for now. It is sad as it affects thousands of peoples lives and way of life. But nature is unstoppable. The Dabell’s realised this at Black Gang and relocated their venture more northwards. Perhaps Ventnor too could have boundaries shifted more inland, to ensure it remains on the maps for future millennia.

bobthebuilder
bobthebuilder
Reply to  Kevin Pidwell
1 month ago

Well not billions maybe a few million over a few years…but as you agree with me you cannot stop nature..

Jim Prideaux
Jim Prideaux
1 month ago

If like me you are puzzling where ‘The Graben’ actually is, it doesn’t show on street maps because it is a geological fault that crosses the B3327 Newport Road just north of its junction with Steephill Down Road.

Gary Cooper
Gary Cooper
Reply to  Jim Prideaux
1 month ago

In geological terms, a graben is actually an elongated trough of land produced by subsidence of the earth’s crust between two faults. The graben is sinking while the area above it remains stable and the area below is falling away.

Helen Highwater
Helen Highwater
1 month ago

The Island’s infrastructure is crumblling – roads, sewers, sea defences – so the last thing we need is yet more discussion. We need money and action, the two things this government is never going to provide no matter how much Govey talks.
On the plus side, at least Dr Seeley MBE MP wasn’t there.

Just a query
Just a query
1 month ago

I get the situation with the Graben and Leeson to some extent and whilst not happy just need patience to let these two play out. The diversion will be a pain but two weeks for the Graben is better than longterm as we’ve seen by Leeson. What I don’t get is Lower Gills Cliff – don’t keep talking about it get on with it. This type of netting is used everywhere and on the continent with much larger cliff faces that this. Bath Road well….if legal proceedings are underway it either belongs to either party so IR clear it up and invoice the land owner if necessary after the resolution of the legal case otherwise its IR mess to clear up anyway…

Gary Cooper
Gary Cooper
Reply to  Just a query
1 month ago

The graben is always moving and repairs are an ongoing issues each year in order to keep the sewerage and water supply systems functioning.

Lesley
Lesley
1 month ago

So when you get to the end of Whitwell road where do you go from there you can’t go down road closed you can’t go up graben closed

Janeville
Janeville
Reply to  Lesley
1 month ago

You can go down

Arthur Reeder
Arthur Reeder
1 month ago

What is needed is a main route in and out…sort of like Undercliff Drive? Oh that wasn’t needed was it.
Still there is always a railway..oh that wasn’t needed either was it?
Perhaps a ferry from Ryde or Sandown to the pier at Ventnor….oh that wasn’t rebuilt either was it?
It seems to me that this anti- Ventnor attitude has gone on long enough.

David Melville
David Melville
1 month ago

Can I just ask that this time we DONT have double decker busses driving up and down Downlands Crescent as our roads haven’t recovered from a couple of days last time it was shut so 2 weeks will destroy it. Just run a mini bus shuttle from Wroxall to upper Ventnor.. simples!

Simple Simon
Simple Simon
1 month ago

What if there is a problem in Whitwell, could be stranded in Ventnor

TIOW
TIOW
1 month ago

If Gills Cliff Road is to remain closed, and people having to go down zigzag road, they need to get that resurfaced it’s horrendous!

Mike
Mike
Reply to  TIOW
1 month ago

Most roads in Ventnor are horrendous because they’ve been badly neglected by Island Roads for over a decade. As a ratepayer to the IoW Council I resent having to deal with Island Roads at all. A case of the tail wagging the dog. As a retired professional engineer Incompetence seems to reign within both the IoW Council and Island Roads and we Island ratepayers are sufferering the consequences.

bobthebuilder
bobthebuilder
Reply to  TIOW
1 month ago

Its ok they are doing surface dressing…bit of wet tarmak and sprinkle some chippings ..that will sort it out….

Reality Check
Reality Check
1 month ago

The pre-cursor to this current situation was of course set years ago when the Council decided not to re-open Undercliff Road. Closing routes off in and out of a geologically challenged area is a negative strategy but typical of the Councils attitude toward the Islands road network.

Will
Will
1 month ago

There is always the prospect of reinstating the railway, if for nothing else then a lifeline in these circumstances.

Gary Cooper
Gary Cooper
1 month ago

If the Graben is closed and the Whitwell route becomes shut for some reason, I predict cannibalism within 1 week. History repeating itself. Arm yourselves with pitchforks and may God help you all.

Jane Owen
Jane Owen
30 days ago

My concern is for the most vulnerable people who receive care from carers The town is now becoming a non viable area for PAs and Care agencies .Alot of carers have zero travelling time between clients and to get from one client in lower Ventnor to Wroxall could take 25 minutes +.
I know carers who would have to make similar journeys four times a day.
Hope the Council will be prepared if like 4 years ago when a large care company pulled care in Ventnor and a number of very vulnerable people were left without care .

Barry Jackman
Barry Jackman
Reply to  Jane Owen
28 days ago

Jane’s fear is well founded and should be explored further. It will have significant ill-effects if left to the last minute.

 

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