Key road – act now or lose it

By Martin Neville

Friday, January 15, 2010

 

Key road – act now or lose it

Jill Wareham pictured in August at the new chine which has appeared on the Military Road, putting it under ever greater risk. Picture by Jennifer Burton

ABANDONING the Military Road is one of the options to be considered by leading lsle of Wight councillors in March. Moving it inland will also be under discussion.

The County Press understands other alternatives are  being drawn up by highway bosses for councillors’ consideration, and no decision will be taken without consultation with bodies such as the AONB Partnership, Department of the Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), Natural England, the National Trust and the Environment Agency.

Last summer, the council was warned it must act quickly to save the Military Road, after a new chine appeared in the cliffs.

Residents voiced concerns over the land slippage between Brook beach and Hanover Point and Jill Wareham, LibDem prospective parliamentary candidate, launched a petition calling for the council to secure the road’s future.

She said it was important residents were consulted and called for a public meeting.

"The Military Road between Brook and Compton at its narrowest point is now ten metres away from the cliff edge," she said.

"The cliff falls and erosion have increased alarmingly over the past few years due to the heavy rainfall, freezing temperatures and drainage.

"The road over Afton Down and the re-alignment by Shippards Chine was completed in October 2003.

"People had been lobbying for 22 years until finally the will and the money was found for works to be done to secure the road for a further 50 years.

"A long-term solution needs to be found to keep the Military Road open."

She added: "Loss of this strategic road will have a devastating effect on Brook village as well as the whole of the Island for both residents and the tourist trade."

Reporter: martinn@iwcpmail.co.uk

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