Work to reopen the erosion-hit coast road between Maryport and Silloth looks set to get under way within two weeks after Cumbria County Council overcame a major hurdle.

The council was forced to shut a 1.2km stretch of the B5300 at Dubmill Point on February 20 after an inspection revealed a stretch of land almost two metres wide had been washed away in just two months, leaving the carriageway perilously close to the sea.

It has been awaiting a licence from the Marine Management Organisation to install rock armour and reinstate the bank, which will allow the road to be reopened.

Now the authority has confirmed that that licence has been granted.

It is still awaiting a required permit from Natural England, which is needed as the work is planned close to a population of natterjack toads.

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That permit is expected within the next week, and the stone to be used in the project is on order.

Once the permit and the stone are in place, work can begin.

A council spokesman said: "The works are dependent on the weather and of course the tide, though we anticipate the rock armour installation will be completed within approximately two months of works starting, though quicker if at all possible."

Preparatory work, including putting a compound on the site, has already been done to speed up the process.

Workington MP Sue Hayman had called for Government intervention to resolve the situation, prompting Defra minister Thérèse Coffey to contact the chief executive of the MMO.

Mrs Hayman said: "I'm really pleased to hear the news that the MMO has now granted the licence for work to begin to reopen the B5300. I'm glad that the Minister intervened after I expressed to her the local community's great concerns at the length of time the road could be closed. But I'll continue to press the Government for proper investment in better coastal defences to give our communities long-term protection."