Plan to 'roll back' Whitburn Coastal Path to save route from erosion between South Tyneside and Sunderland

Walkers and cyclists are set to see a popular coastal path moved further inland to protect the route from erosion.

By Chris Binding
Tuesday, 19th July 2022, 5:57 pm

The Whitburn Coastal Path runs around 2.25 km along the coastline from the Whitburn Nature Reserve to Whitburn Bents.

South Tyneside Council officers say due to the “soft landscape” which is “very easily eroded” and caves forming along the coastline, they are looking to prolong the lifespan of the coastal path and improve its safety.

The proposed scheme, presented to councillors and members of the public for information, includes “rolling back” the coastal path.

There are plans to 'roll back' the coastal path.

It is hoped, subject to planning permission, work will start on the route later this year.

“The rollback won’t be a significant distance,” said Michelle Hogg, the council’s operational manager for environmental protection.

“But what it will mean is that we ensure that we have got longevity of the footpath for around the next 20 years, so up until 2042.

Planning permission will be submitted in August with the first phase of the new realigned footpath to be undertaken in Autumn / Winter time once planning permission is approved.”

The cliffs are being worn away by the sea.

Details of the project were revealed at a meeting of the council’s East Shields and Whitburn Community Area Forum (CAF) on Thursday, July 14.

Councillors heard it was important to keep the Whitburn Coastal Path open as it is part of a nationally designated walking route.

Council officers behind the scheme added the coastline was already affected by erosion and flood risk but that the local authority needed to continually assess risks due to “increased storminess and climate change”.

The Whitburn Coastal Path project follows a number of similar schemes along the South Tyneside coastline which have been developed in response to the challenges of coastal erosion.

Major highways works to realign the A183 Coast Road between the Lime Kilns and Marsden Grotto are expected to take place later this year.

At a previous CAF meeting, project bosses confirmed road closures would be “kept to a minimum” with an estimated completion date of March 2023.