Investigations underway into repair options for Osborne Steps

Published: 5 June 2023

The closed signs at the cliff top, Osborne Steps, Shanklin

Investigations are underway to discover what works are required to the steps leading from Shanklin seafront to the cliff path.

Osborne Steps, which connect Eastcliffe Promenade at the cliff top to the beach, have been closed for a period of time due to concerns over cliff movements and the safety of users.

The Isle of Wight Council has commissioned Island Roads to investigate the issues, which also affect the footpath to the beach and the road and pavement at the cliff top as well as other identified issues further down the path.

Drone technology is being used to discover what works are required.

Jason Boulter, Island Roads senior project manager, said: “Using a drone makes the investigation more comprehensive as it can access areas and views that humans can’t, whilst preventing the potential for further disturbance versus more traditional methods of inspection and investigation.

“Once our initial work has been undertaken we will present options for stabilisation and reopening of the path in discussion with the council.”

The area experienced considerable movement prior to Christmas 2022.

The council said it was looking for a sustainable solution to rectify the issue and was working with Island Roads to understand the movement before embarking on any future works.

A council spokesperson said: "We recognise the importance of this access route for the town and tourist trade.

"We are currently undertaking investigations and design works on a solution to repair the footpath and steps. 

"This area of coast is subject to constant change, through the impacts of weather, and the nature of the cliffs. Any solution needs to be one that is sustainable in the long term.

"During this period, we have reduced the Shanklin cliff lift charges to a nominal amount to cater for those who cannot access the beach through other routes."