Ventnor is a town of "8,000 people now clinging to a rock", a councillor has said, after a public meeting on the future of Isle of Wight landslip-hit Leeson Road.

Cllr Ed Blake said it is "frustrating" not to have a definite idea of when the Shanklin to Ventnor route will reopen, adding it would be "easier to understand if the road didn't exist anymore."

Hundreds of Ventnor residents gathered at St Catherine's Church yesterday (Thursday) to hear if Leeson Road will reopen anytime soon.

The route was not directly affected by December's landslip, but further ground monitoring is to take place in the next couple of months, before a solution is found.

Isle of Wight County Press:

The Ventnor and St Lawrence representative said there was a "baying mob atmosphere" at times during the meeting and said one should have been held earlier in the year.

"I don't blame the audience for getting like that," he said.

"We all feel like that. I am pleased some information has come out, but equally frustrated we don't have definite times."

Cllr Blake said he was extremely pleased to see the number of residents who attended and said it showed the "powers that be" that residents are passionate about their town.

He said: "I appreciate where the council is coming from. They don't want to be held to a deadline they can't stick to, but it is frustrating, as a resident and business owner."

Natasha Dix, the Isle of Wight Council's environment manager, said the authority is doing everything it can to work with Island Roads, the Environment Agency and other transport partners, to "keep Ventnor moving."

She said: "We want to support the local economy to be as buoyant as it can be, making sure there is every opportunity for this upcoming summer season to be one for businesses to thrive.

"We have invested a huge sum of money in highway schemes, retaining walls and coastal defence repairs because we support the town and recognise it is a community that needs to thrive and grow.

"We will continue to support Ventnor as best we can."

Colin Rowland, the council's community services director, said the authority has had "positive conversations" with central government to secure more funding for the highway and small businesses.