UPDATED: The Isle of Wight Council, working alongside Island Roads, are set to prevent vehicular access to an unsafe section of Undercliff Drive as a matter of urgency after local residents rebuilt part of the carriageway without permission or approval over the weekend.
Residents living in the landlocked area of Undercliff Drive have spent in excess of £2,500 cutting back shrubbery and laying a new section of carriageway in a bid to allow vehicles access to a total of 9 properties that became cut off following a landslide back in February.
Although homeowners can now drive to their front doors, no permission for the work has been given by Island Roads or the Isle of Wight Council, who are now looking to restrict vehicular access once again in the interests of safety in the area photographed to the left.
The unauthorised work carried out is not to required safety standards with no safety barriers or signage having been installed. The quality of the work carried out cannot be verified, meaning it is potentially unsafe for those using it.
Privately owned land, which contains vital underground monitoring equipment, has been used to form part of the new road.
In a joint statement issued by the Isle of Wight Council and Island Roads this morning, it has been said:
“We are aware that a private individual recently undertook work to restore vehicular access to a handful of inhabited properties in Undercliff Drive. This road has been closed to traffic since February when a major landslide rendered it unsafe.
“The unauthorised and unapproved recent work involved the removal of barriers that have been put in place to prevent vehicles accessing what remains an unsafe stretch of road.
“The work also used land in private ownership and has buried equipment used to monitor on-going movement in this area.
“As the work is unauthorised and unapproved and therefore its safety cannot be verified, we cannot allow vehicular access to the site. Therefore we will, as a matter of urgency, take the necessary steps to once again prevent vehicular access whilst we conduct a full safety assessment. Pedestrian access will remain.
“We appreciate this remains a difficult time for residents affected by February’s major landslide. It remains the intention to undertake a scheme to provide long-term access to these properties. However we must be sure that the agreed solution is properly designed and constructed and, therefore, safe.”
The Isle of Wight Council have already agreed to spend £500,000 on reinstating access to the properties.
UPDATE @ 13:30 – Island Roads have notified residents that they have until 14:00 this afternoon to remove any vehicles from within the landslip.
Permanent barriers are set to be installed. CCTV footage is being reviewed.