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Friday, 19 December 2014

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‘Rock armour’ to protect Cumbrian coast road against erosion

A road is being wrapped in armour today after part of it wore away.

Coast road crater photo
A crater appeared in the B5300 road next to the shore close to Dubmill Point after in March 2008

The “rock armour” has been brought in to protect a 280m length of the B5300 after erosion started two years ago.

Councillors say the Maryport to Silloth road is a ‘vital link’ and they acted to stop the erosion getting any worse.

Tony Markley, Cumbria County Council’s cabinet member for highways, said there was a risk that part of it could have disappeared into the sea if the work didn’t start immediately.

The large and small stone ‘armour’ is being delivered today to protect the road at Castle Corner, between Mawbray and Beckfoot.

Mr Markley said engineers were ‘pulling out all the stops’ to get the work done before Christmas.

“The road from Silloth to Maryport is a vital link for communities along the Solway coast,” he said.

“Without this work starting immediately, there was a very real risk that part of the road would simply have disappeared into the sea and I was all too aware of the consequences that would had for the local road network.

“This is an important erosion control project at a particularly vulnerable point. We all need to be aware of the long-term issue of coastal erosion.”

Mr Markley said they had been working with Natural England and Allerdale Council on the project so they could build on the work that was being done.

Because the erosion was getting closer to the road, temporary traffic lights have been in place since the spring to keep traffic away from the seaward edge of the road.

Preliminary work began on a site compound and access road earlier this week, and the full work programme will begin today.

Cumbria County Council’s in-house highways team is carrying out the work using local stone in a capital project costing around £320,000.

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