Richard Ferraro, Bonchurch:

To be a service director at Isle of Wight Council, or the CEO of Island Roads, it appears you must attend a course called 'When faced with a crisis, tell the public that monitoring is a good-enough response'.

That was the (unsatisfactory) line spun to the anxious residents and businesses of Ventnor, Bonchurch and St Lawrence at the second public meeting (last week) about closure of the A3055 at Leeson Road and subsidence at The Graben.

Yes, monitoring is essential. Of concern, monitoring equipment is not yet fully in place at Leeson Road, six months after the landslip.

With certainty, engineering solutions to stabilise the roads must be assessed at an early date.

On this topic, Bob Gillespie (CEO, Island Roads) made an extraordinary statement at the meeting. He said there are no possible engineering solutions for increased stability at Leeson Road.

For example, no case for a concrete dam, or structures with deep-piled foundations, or other installations to stabilise the ground.

Isle of Wight Council's Natasha Dix agreed with him. However, when pressed, Michelle Love (the council’s service director for highways and community protection) said engineering solutions could be assessed when monitoring was complete.

I challenged all these statements from the floor. I asked Bob Gillespie to immediately publish the professional engineering advice upon which his statement was based. Nothing followed.

To service directors Michelle Love and Natasha Dix, I say… if your advisors are telling you there are no solutions to stabilise land under or next to Leeson Road, you’re talking to the wrong people.

With 35 years’ professional experience in large-scale construction, I say that if additional land stability is required at Leeson Road, engineering solutions are available.

I’ve recently discussed Leeson Road with expert engineers, geologists and specialists in land drainage. All agree with me.

For rapid progress, I’ve previously requested early appointment of heavyweight engineers to undertake "options appraisals" of engineering and drainage solutions at Leeson Road, at pace. I request that again.

Of importance, the appointed engineers should be instructed to engage with individuals and groups with useful technical knowledge of the geology and subterranean water flows of The Undercliff.

Also of importance, the “options appraisals” should be done in parallel with monitoring. That’s normal industry practice. By doing that, you reduce timescales.

If we must wait six, nine or 12 months for monitoring to be completed before Isle of Wight Council and Island Roads begin to consider what comes next, by that stage, Ventnor’s shops and restaurants will be bankrupt.

Service directors Love and Dix, with Gillespie… Leeson Road and The Graben need absolute priority for funding and fast-track solutions. You must get ahead of the crisis that is escalating in front of you.

At present you’re well behind the curve.