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Wednesday, 01 October 2014

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2,000 tonnes of stone used to shore up Cumbrian coastal road

Thousands of tonnes of rock have been used to stop part of a coastal road disappearing into the sea.

About 20 metres of land has been washed into the Solway Firth from a section of shoreline near Silloth in the last two years.

And with the shoreline moving closer to the road, action has now been taken with a £320,000 project to make the area safer.

Five thousand tonnes of large stone pieces and 2,000 tonnes of smaller ones have been installed as “rock armour” to strengthen flood defences at Castle Corner, between Mawbray and Beckfoot.

It is on a stretch of the B5300 road between Silloth and Maryport, which is particularly busy during the summer with people driving to places including Allonby. Temporary traffic lights have been in place since the spring to keep vehicles away from the seaward edge of the road until defences could be bolstered.

Cumbria County Council’s highways team carried out the work.

Tony Markley, a councillor in the area and the authority’s cabinet member responsible for roads, said: “The road from Silloth to Maryport is a vital link for communities along the Solway coast.

“I’m thrilled that this stretch has been completed and that the road will be protected from further erosion.

“Without this work, 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 have had. This has been an important erosion control project at a particularly vulnerable point on the road.

“We all need to be aware of the long-term issue of coastal erosion that will keep coming back on this section of coast.”

Allerdale Council and Natural England have also been involved in the defence scheme.

Because it has been carried out in an environmentally sensitive area, important for wildlife along the Solway, extra work had to be put into ensuring the project did not harm habitats.

Mr Markley added: “Cumbria County Council will be working with Natural England and Allerdale council to make sure we are all able to build on the work that has been put in place here.”

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