Popular tourism area to be improved

Shanklin Esplanade and Hope Hill are to be upgraded by Island Roads after the Easter Holiday.

The work will be undertaken over nine weekdays from April 23. The resurfacing will be undertaken in four phases to keep as many of the Esplanade’s three car parks open for as long as possible during the project.

Pedestrian access to Hope Hill and the Esplanade will be maintained at all times and there will be no working on Saturday and Sundays. The road will be re-opened outside of working times and businesses will be open as usual throughout the work.

The spring date and day-time work have been chosen because weather at this time of year on what is an exposed location can reasonably be expected to be favourable thereby reducing the risk of delays. The dates mean the work will be undertaken after the busy Easter season with the aim of completion before the May Bank Holidays.

Businesses and residents have been informed of the work and Island Roads is continuing to talk to those most affected to discuss ways of minimising inconvenience. Next month, Island Roads’ mobile visitor centre will visit the Esplanade so residents and businesses can speak to staff.

Keith Gourlay, Island Roads construction manager, said: “Experience has shown us that in exposed coastal areas it is best to work when we can reasonably expect good weather enabling us to finish on time and with least overall disruption.

“Our aim here is to pick a window outside of the main holiday period but when the weather is more likely to be kind to us. As we saw late last year on Culver Parade, attempting to do the work when the weather is inclement can lead to significant and unwanted delays in completing the work.

“We have personally spoken to businesses that are open and we will continue to communicate with the community in the coming weeks. We would like to thank everyone we have spoken to so far for their understanding and co-operation.”

The scheme is part of the Island’s Highway Improvement Programme which is financed in the main through a grant of £477 million awarded by the Department for Transport.