Green light for plans to move the A183 Coast Road between South Shields and Sunderland inland following coastal erosion fears
Major plans to reposition and preserve part of the A183 Coast Road have been approved by South Tyneside Council planning committee, with the project securing the road for another 50 years, according to council bosses.
South Tyneside Council has been developing the project for several months and the plans will see a 500-metre section of the route moved further inland and away from the cliff edge.
Project bosses say this would extend the lifespan of the coastal route by another 50 years, with part of the road moved further inland between Marsden Grotto and an end point opposite the historic Lime Kilns.
Health and safety concerns were raised by Whitburn golf club that the new road could be too close to the golf course and risk golf balls heading towards passing drivers.
However following a visit to the site, borough councillors believe there is enough distance between the course and the new road to prevent this being an issue.
Peter Mennell, Head of Regeneration and Housing at South Tyneside Council, said: “We feel the proposed plans are an acceptable approach and will buy us around 50 years for the coast road to continue.”
Cllr Eileen Leaksk said: “These plans are extremely necessary. When driving along the road I was surprised at just how close you are to the edge of the cliff.”
Plans for the realignment were developed following specialist surveys which identified “critical pinch points”, caused by the erosion of the limestone cliff face and the formation of caves.
Traffic diversions will be put in place across the road while works are carried out on the section of the A183 Coast Road, with local traffic diverted along Lizard Lane.
Non-local traffic and larger strategic traffic, such as HGVs, will be diverted along the A1300 Redwell Lane and Prince Edward Road, A1018 Sunderland Road, A1018 Shields Road, B129 Moor Lane and Front Street.
A report prepared by the planning committee says: “Over 8,000 vehicles use the route (connecting South Shields to Sunderland) on a daily basis, with an average of 300 HGVs per day demonstrating the importance of the route from an employment and business perspective.”