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Questions raised over cliff safety in West Dorset
10:00am Thursday 20th September 2012 in Lyme Regis
QUESTIONS are being asked about who takes on what responsibilities in the event of another catastrophic cliff fall in West Dorset.
After 22-year-old Charlotte Blackman was killed in the landslip at Burton Bradstock in July there was an emergency shut down of beaches in the area and the Coast Path in west Dorset while assessments were made of the cliffs’ stability.
Most of the closures were lifted within two days but the section between Burton Freshwater and Burton Hive remains closed.
Parts of Monmouth Beach were also closed following significant cliff movement.
John Hayes and Carmel Wilkinson, of Dorset County Council’s countryside team said: “Significant resources went into trying to safeguard the public during this period, initially by the police and coastguard, and throughout by the National Trust, Jurassic Coast Team, Cou-ntryside Access Team, Coastal Ranger Team, Dorset Sign Shop and highways, grounds maintenance.
“It was an unprecedented effort made more challenging by the time of the year when visitor numbers were at their peak and where resources were already stretched by meeting Olympic demands.”
The team spokesman added: “In the longer term, the episode raises questions regarding the appropriate responsibilities and actions that should be taken when events like these occur.
“It also raises questions on how important safety messages on keeping away from the base of cliffs and mudslides are conveyed.”