Keep Ventnor Moving group:

Over the past few weeks we have written many emails to the authorities dealing with the issues facing Ventnor.

To date, not one officer from the Isle of Wight Council has replied, and neither has the council leader Phil Jordan.

Both councillors representing wards in Ventnor are working hard and are helping us and residents, but are equally frustrated by the apparent lack of communication.

Here is a letter we sent over a week ago to Cllr Jordan:

We are group of residents and businesses in and around Ventnor who are adversely affected not only by the closure of Leeson Road, but closures throughout Ventnor, such as, but not limited to, Bath Road, Bonchurch Shute, and Lower Gills Cliff Road.

Given the hardship and disruption created by these road closures, I have written several letters to Island Roads to push for a safe and timely reopening of Ventnor’s Road network. They have replied to all but the latest letter which was sent after the Easter weekend.

I have provided copies of this correspondence to Natasha Dix and Colin Rowland. To date we have had no response.

Given the gravity of the situation, as rate payers and business owners, we find this failure unacceptable.

The unreasonable delay in reopening roads is harming Ventnor and the surrounding towns and villages.

It is both unacceptable and, perplexing.

Island Roads has indicated that it would be too risky to open Leeson Road even to one way traffic. However, we still believe from our own field of experts that Leeson Road is unaffected by the last landslip as it sits on the chert rock away from the land that could slip due to the several different layers of rock formation. 

Leeson Road is a vital artery, and continued delays will further affect Ventnor and the broader Island economy.

In terms of the wider Ventnor Road network, roads are closed, and remedial action is delayed due to an apparent lack of urgency on the part of Island Roads, or where the council has authority, due to council inaction. Bath Road and Lower Gills Cliff Road provide perfect examples of this.

The council has, within its remit, the power to repair the fallen wall on Bath Road and charge the owner. The road has now been closed since October, and no action has been taken. This is contributing to congestion and safety hazards on the Esplanade.

Meanwhile, Lower Gills Cliff Road has now fallen prey to the sadly familiar Island Roads refrain of having to get special equipment/advice to secure the cliff face from further falls and/or erect a barrier to capture any falling rock.

That specialist advice/equipment is yet to be sought two months after the rockfall is unacceptable; this is a main road and was used as an alternate route to Newport helping to ease traffic on the increasingly unstable Graben.

We are concerned that the regular stationary traffic on the Graben due to high traffic flow will put the road at risk of opening up as a sinkhole as it has done in the past.

We would like to know why the council feels that it is safer to subject the Graben to heavy traffic, rather than to reopen Lower Gills Cliff Road?

The existing traffic lights, along with the erection of a temporary barrier, could be used to ensure that traffic moves on the south side of the road.

While we understand that we cannot have sight of the PFI contract between the Council and Island Roads, it appears to the outsider as if Island Roads is making all the decisions.

Surely the council, who is the client, must have some control, not just in Ventnor, but Islandwide. Residents are becoming increasingly frustrated and angry.