Safety railings put up on beach prom

RAILINGS are today in place on Felixstowe seafront to stop people falling off the prom onto the beach and being injured on dangerous concrete below.The urgent safety measure was put in place following a series of high tides, which have washed away thousands of tonnes of sand and shingle - leaving an eight feet drop to the shore.

RAILINGS are today in place on Felixstowe seafront to stop people falling off the prom onto the beach and being injured on dangerous concrete below.

The urgent safety measure was put in place following a series of high tides, which have washed away thousands of tonnes of sand and shingle - leaving an eight feet drop to the shore.

Contractors have been called in to carry out emergency work and have been moving huge chunks of broken breakwaters to create makeshift groynes to try to stop the severe erosion and encourage shingle back on to the beach.

Suffolk Coastal and the Environment Agency want to carry out £10 million worth of sea defence work along the stretch of beach but the government has so far refused to fund the project.


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Felixstowe sector manager for HM Coastguard, Jo Arlow said: “We spoke to the council and stressed how dangerous we thought it could now be along that part of the prom.

“The erosion has got very bad indeed and a large area of beach has dropped very steeply.

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“If someone fell off the beach here they could end up injuring themselves quite seriously because it's several feet down and there is lots of sharp concrete about.”

Large broken bits of concrete, some parts of groynes and some believed to be old war defences, sit on the beach.

Council engineers said if the current low beach levels continue parts of the prom are at severe risk of at least partial collapse, most likely around the Shore Break café in Sea Road, where 100m of railings have now been put in place on the prom to protect the public.

A spokesman said: “The council will also arrange for white lining and signing to advise people of the drop along the southern section of the promenade where beach levels are low.

“This will be similar to existing lining outside the Fludyers Arms Public House in Undercliff Road East.”

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case study: Shore Break Café

FELIXSTOWE'S Shore Break Café hovers precariously several feet over the beach and sea at high tide - a building which used to rest on the sand.

The original foundations, old oil drums filled with concrete, now lie scattered on the beach or hang suspended in the air below the building.

These have had to be replaced with four metre deep steel pipes because of the erosion, but even this piling is now being threatened every day by the relentless onslaught of the waves attacking a weak spot and is now only two metres deep.

The café, which was built in the 1980s, has survived storms and a fire over the years, now hangs around 12ft over the beach. Alongside beaches are also low, groynes have been knocked over and smashed and the council has brought in contractors to try to create breakwaters from the broken bits.

The building is owned by Andy Mexome and the café run by Steve Bloomfield. The café is still open for business.

“I do feel safe although the place really does shake and we've had the occasional person screaming. I'm hoping a disaster won't happen any time soon,” said Mr Bloomfield.

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