29 May 2014

Undercliff Drive reports published

The Isle of Wight Council is considering three reports from Island Roads about sections of Undercliff Drive affected by ground movement earlier this year.

Under the highways PFI contract, should a section of the highway fail for geological or geotechnical reasons, Island Roads must provide the Isle of Wight Council with a technical report, known as a failure report.

The three failure reports submitted by Island Roads relate to geological failures to sections of road in the Undercliff area between Ventnor and Niton. The reports, which can be found on iwight.com, outline:
• how the geological failure has impacted on the activities of Island Roads;
• how the geological failure has affected the highways PFI project network;
• what actions Island Roads has taken in the lead up to and following the geological failure;
• what actions Island Roads proposes to rectify, manage and/or mitigate the geological failure; and
• a financial estimate of costs of proposals.

The Isle of Wight Council will now need to consider the contents of the reports before recommendations about the future of the site can be put before the council’s Executive.

'Anxious time for residents'

Councillor Steve Stubbings, deputy leader and local member for Ventnor West, said: “It remains a very anxious time for residents directly affected by the ground movement along the Undercliff and we would like to assure all those affected that we are doing all we can to reach a point where we can make a decision on the road’s future as quickly as possible.”

Although the reports outline potential solutions to the failure, they indicate that it will not be possible to carry out a detailed assessment of the potential solutions until it can be confirmed that ground movement in the area has ceased.

Councillor Phil Jordan, Executive member for public protection, said: “We felt it was very important to publish the failure reports online as soon as possible so that residents have access to the same information as the council on this matter. It is likely that the reports will generate questions for residents – who quite rightly want answers on the future of the Undercliff - but it is important that we take the time to consider all of the technical information in detail, and seek further advice if required, before commenting on any of the proposals put forward by Island Roads. The reports raise some complex and detailed issues and we are correctly seeking clarification on those issues without further delay.”

Inspections continue

The council’s building control officers are inspecting properties in the affected area weekly to check for new movement and Island Roads continues to undertake detailed monitoring of ground movement and ground water levels. Current data shows that the ground is continuing to move although it has slowed significantly from the rates experienced earlier in the year.

The three failure reports have been posted on the council’s website so that residents and affected parties can study the thoughts of Island Roads and its specialist geotechnical consultants. They can be found here: http://www.iwight.com/Residents/Transport-Parking-and-Streets/Highways-PFI

A report will go to the council’s Executive once officers have had time to consider the failure reports. It will be for the Executive to decide which, if any, of the solutions put forward by Island Roads can be implemented.

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Undercliff Drive in February 2014
Undercliff Drive in February 2014
  • Island Roads has submitted three reports to the Isle of Wight Council about the Undercliff.
Ventnor Isle of Wight