Newgale problems likely to continue for some time yet, says county council
5:00pm Tuesday 4th March 2014 in News
Storm-battered Newgale is likely to continue to suffer for some time yet, the county council has warned.
The recent severe storms have resulted in major changes to the beach and shingle bank at Newgale.
It is estimated that the beach has lost over a metre’s depth of sand this winter.
As a result, the county council is advising people that until the natural environment has been given time to heal, it is likely that motorists, local residents and businesses will continue to be affected.
County council engineers are working closely with officers from Natural Resources Wales to try and improve the situation but warn there is no easy solution because of the pressure of natural forces on this part of the coastline and on the shingle bank in particular.
The council is not directly responsible for the shingle bank but is responsible for maintaining the road.
Councillor Rob Lewis, Cabinet Member for Highways and Transportation praised the hard work and effort of council staff in attempting to keep the Newgale road open throughout the recent bad weather.
He also expressed sympathy to local people and businesses, who had been affected by the problem.
“Due to repeated storm action over a prolonged period - which often coincided with high tides - the beach and shingle at Newgale has not had the opportunity to naturally recuperate,” he said.
“While this has meant that the ancient forest has been exposed to view, it also means that larger waves are now travelling much higher up the beach at times of high tide and breaking with greater force on the shingle bank at the back.”
He said that in addition to the loss of sand on the beach, the shingle bank itself had also lost a lot of its stones together with the fine sand and small pebbles that helped bind it together.
“It is now a much less substantive feature as well as being a great deal weaker than it was prior to the storms, as a result of which its defensive capabilities are considerably eroded,” he said.
“This, combined with the greater poundings by the larger waves that it is now exposed to at high tide is resulting in water coming over the top and through the shingle on a regular basis.
“This poses a risk to motorists as well as depositing large quantities of pebbles across the area to the rear of the beach, including across the road.”
Councillor Lewis said unfortunately until the sand levels were naturally re-established, more problems were inevitable and it would be likely that further road closures and clear up work would be necessary for the foreseeable future around periods of spring high tides.
He added that in future a planned approach to the highway and transport infrastructure would be needed based on the principles developed in the Shoreline Management Plan for the coastline.
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