Watchet coastal road is permanently closed due to erosion

Cleeve Hill is at B3191

Unless funds are raised to fix it, a coastal road will remain closed permanently, the council has announced.

On the west Somerset coast, the B3191 runs between Watchet and Blue Anchor.

On January 12, Somerset County Council closed the road after a survey revealed that the rate of erosion along the coast had increased.

The council has since acknowledged that more thorough inspections revealed it will be impossible to fully reopen the road without "major intervention.".

According to the Local Democracy Reporting Service, the road is currently closed between the Daw's Castle historic site and the Saxon Ridge neighborhood on Cleeve Hill at the Watchet end.

The road is still accessible from the Blue Anchor end, where in the spring a £3.07 million project to safeguard the Anchor's Drop pub and nearby properties will begin.

The council announced that it was thinking about requesting funding from the Department of Transportation to save the road, but officers had warned that any grants were "highly unlikely to materialize" given the high costs involved and the practical challenges of saving the nearby cliffs.

The situation with land movement in this area of the cliff is terminal; eventually, the road will vanish into the sea, according to councillor Mike Rigby, who also holds the portfolio for transportation and digital.

The level of risk associated with keeping it open is, quite frankly, intolerable, so we must maintain the closure indefinitely for the safety of the general public. ".

Action must be taken immediately, according to John Richards, chairman of the Watchet Chamber of Trade, to lessen the negative effects of the road closures on local businesses.

Since the road was closed, he claimed, there has been a significant drop in foot traffic, making it extremely difficult for local businesses to survive.

"Since shops and businesses depend on passing trade to operate, it's imperative that we consider all options for reducing this loss of revenue.

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