Despite warnings from the Isle of Wight Council, the barriers have been opened at Leeson Road this morning (Friday), prompting a stern safety warning from Island Roads.

The roads contractor told the County Press: "The barriers are in place for very good safety reasons and should not be removed.

"Recent investigation has clearly shown there remains a real risk of further movement.

"As stated at the public meeting in Ventnor last night, the public is strongly advised to stay away from the closed section of Leeson Road and the cliff edges of the landslide."

Isle of Wight County Press:

Last night (Thursday), a decision on the future of the landslip-hit road was shared with hundreds of local residents, who gathered at St Catherine's Church.

Leeson Road, which connects Shanklin to Bonchurch and Ventnor, was closed on December 10, due to a major landslide, which saw 20 properties evacuated for a time.

Following the landslide, the IW Council commissioned an independent investigation and risk assessment of the area, with Island Roads launching its own parallel study on the feasibility of opening part of, or all of, the road.

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Meeting attendees were told Leeson Road will not reopen for vehicles, cyclists or pedestrians, as further monitoring is required.

This is despite the road not being "directly affected in its current integrity”, and the road surface not moving.

A question was raised suggesting the authorities are being 'overly cautious', by not allowing at least cyclists and pedestrians to use the route.

Island Roads told the County Press today: "We are working with all parties to monitor the ongoing movement in the area and the road will be re-opened when we have the evidence to show it is safe to do so."

Isle of Wight MP Bob seely said the closure of the road increases the risk of further damage in Wroxall and Upper Ventnor, including The Graben, where traffic has been diverted.

Isle of Wight County Press:

Natasha Dix, the Isle of Wight Council’s service director for waste, environment, and planning, said: "There are risks of further, smaller collapses around the fringe of landslide, and there is still a risk the main landslide area could reactivate.

“We have actively told people to stay outside of the landslide area, we don’t need anyone walking around there right now.

“I know you will have seen on social media explorers have been looking for the Devil's Chimney but it is really not safe to do so, please don’t, there could be further displacement."