Leeson Road Ventnor landslip

Information and updates about the landslip in Leeson Road Ventnor

Aerial view and view from the sea of the landslip showing how the ground has moved down and buildings now on the edge

We understand the effect the current closure of Leeson Road is having on residents and businesses, particularly those in the Ventnor area.

Both Island Roads and the Isle of Wight Council are keen to keep the local community fully informed about what is being done in respect of managing this important strategic route.

As part of that aim, we have created this webpage on which we will share relevant updates on Leeson Road. This page also contains the answers to some of the questions already raised.

In addition to this page, we will, of course, continue to liaise with the local community and its elected members. A further public meeting in the town will also be arranged in the near future.

From the outset, we would like to make the following points absolutely clear:

  • it remains the intention of Island Roads and the Isle of Wight Council to re-open Leeson Road as soon as it safe to do so
  • before making any decisions, we need additional, reliable, data to help us understand both the ongoing geological movement in the area and also, the potential risk of further failures
  • while we cannot at this stage state a timescale for the re-opening, we will ensure that the public is regularly updated with all the information relevant to this important, and difficult, decision.

Please do check back here for updates.

If you have any queries relating to Leeson Road please email coastal.recovery@iow.gov.uk

Update No 2 – Wednesday 24 April 2024

An array of specialist hi-tech equipment that will monitor any ongoing movement in and around Leeson Road in Ventnor has now been installed.

Island Roads staff have been working with site investigation experts SOCOTEC to install monitoring equipment that will measure and record lateral and rotational ground movement.

The data gathered will help Island Roads and the Isle of Wight Council make informed decisions about the future of Leeson Road.

The array comprises three extensometers to measure and record changes to visible cracking and 22 tiltmeters recording rotational ground movement. This will shortly be complemented with three global navigation satellite sensors providing remote monitoring of vertical and horizontal land movement.

The council will be addressing the current situation at Leeson Road as well as other access issues currently affecting the town, at a further public meeting in the town next month. More details will be announced shortly.

Update No 1 – Wednesday 11 April 2024

The installation of specialist equipment to monitor any movement around Leeson Road is to begin week commencing 15 April 2024.

Data from nearly 30 pieces of equipment will enable the Isle of Wight Council and Island Roads to make informed decisions on the future of the strategic route between Shanklin and Ventnor. The equipment will measure any vertical and horizontal movement and also monitor any widening of existing cracks. 

The council and Island Roads have also created a new webpage to highlight latest information on Leeson Road and other access issues affecting Ventnor given ongoing issues at locations such as Newport Road and Gills Cliff Road.

The upper section of Leeson Road has remained closed since a catastrophic landslip in December 2023 when 16 hectares – some 14million cubic metres of land – was displaced in what was one of the largest landslides recorded on the South Coast of England.

Leeson Road passes close to the back of the landslip and expert advice has recommended the road remains closed until more is known about the risk of further major movement. This is particularly so given that the heavy rainfall that was identified as a cause of the original landslip has persisted.

Subject to no further movement, favourable weather and the necessary permissions being given to install the equipment on private land, preparatory work will be undertaken next week followed by the installation of the equipment itself in the week commencing 15 April 2024.

The type and number of equipment and the locations at which it will be placed has been decided in consultation with industry experts. The array comprises three extensometers to measure and record changes to visible cracking, 22 tiltmeters recording lateral ground movement, three global navigation satellite sensors providing remote monitoring of vertical and horizontal land movement.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

List of frequently asked questions and answers on the issue of Leeson Road

We will continue to update the questions and answers.