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A183 Coast Road realignment


  1. Overview
  2. Proposals
  3. Map of proposed realignment
  4. Planning application
  5. Appointment of contractor
  6. Start date
  7. Contact us
  8. Frequently asked questions


In May 2019, studies highlighted certain locations of the A183 Coast Road would likely be compromised at some point in the future. This is due to the ongoing erosion of the cliff face and the creation of cave formations.

Because of this, South Tyneside Council is proposing to move a section of the road away from the cliff top at the closest point.


We are proposing to realign a section of road between the Lime Kilns and the caravan site, near the Marsden Grotto.

This would move the road away from the cliff top at the closest point. 

The Council is proposing to return the unused section of the A183 Coast Road back to grassland.

It is currently envisaged the realignment would extend the lifespan of the coastal route by approximately 50 years.

The Council appointed design consultant Capita to produce an initial scheme design. This enabled further investigations to be carried out, and the final design completed by Capita prior to the submission of a planning application in 2021.

Map of proposed realignment

Coast road proposed scheme drawing Jan 2021

Key for coast road scheme drawing Key
Existing road
Existing road - to be landscaped
New road
New road
Footway / cycleway
Local realignment of bridleway
Soft verge
Soft verge
Cutting / embankment
Cutting / embankment

Planning application

Following submission of the planning application in 2021, planning consent for the scheme was granted on 14 February 2022.

Appointment of contractor

Following planning consent, the scheme was put out to competitive tender with submitted tenders being received week commencing 25 April 2022. These submissions will be evaluated by the end of May 2022 to enable a preferred contractor to be selected.

Start date

Appointment of the contractor to deliver the scheme will follow the evaluation of the tenders and completion of the acquisition of the required land from National Trust. It is envisaged that this process will be complete at the end of August 2022, at which point a start date for construction will be determined.

Contact us

If you have a query or need more information on the scheme, please contact South Tyneside Council's Coast Road Team on 0191 427 7000 or email

All enquires will be responded to within five working days. We will, of course, aim to respond sooner.

Frequently asked questions

How long has the council been aware of the risk to the coast road?

A Shoreline Management Plan (SMP) was developed by Royal Haskoning in 2007 on behalf of the North East Coastal Authorities Group and this led to the monitoring of erosion, including the Marsden Bay area, from 2008 through to the present day.  In May 2019 the Council sought detailed specialist advice from Royal HaskoningDHV, a company with an international reputation in this field. They were commissioned to undertake analysis and interpretation of monitoring surveys to provide a greater understanding of the behaviour of the cliff edge at critical 'pinch point' sections of Marsden Bay.  The report they produced highlighted that due to ongoing erosion of the cliff face and the creation of cave formations, the A183 Coast Road would in future be compromised.  It also provided definitive advice on safety thresholds and actions to be undertaken. One such action was to commence works on the proposed local realignment `with immediate effect`, which is now underway.

Why are we not stopping the cliff erosion?

The specialist advice within the Royal Haskoning report concluded it is not a viable option to locally defend the cliff line around the 'pinch point' sections due to the adverse effects it would have on the rest of the bay, since erosion would continue unabated elsewhere. Instead, the whole bay would have to be protected which would not only have unaffordable economic impacts, but would also result in the potential loss of key geological SSSI features. Such an approach would also be contrary to the policy of the Shoreline Management Plan 2 (SMP2). Furthermore, any coastal defence against marine erosion would not eliminate retreat of the cliff line via sub-aerial weathering processes and freeze-thaw effects.

Are the public already aware of the proposed realignment scheme?

In 2020 discussions began with the planning department to establish the likely environmental impacts and constraints. This formal process is recorded on the planning register which is in the public domain.  As a result of this, articles were published by Shields Gazette, Evening Chronicle and Sunderland Echo which described the proposals and the reasons for them.

Where can I view the scheme details

This can be viewed on the councils planning portal.

What will happen to the "old road"?

The Council is proposing to return the unused section of the A183 Coast Road back to grassland.

When will construction start?

Subject to acquisition of the land from National Trust and the appointment of a contractor, the works will likely get under way in September 2022.

Will the Lime Kilns be affected?

An extensive Environmental Impact Assessment is being prepared to ensure this feature is not adversely affected.

Will the cycle provision be maintained or improved?

The current provision of a segregated footway / cycleway on the east side will be maintained along the realigned section. The footway / cycle facility will also be maintained during the scheme, either on the permanent surface or a temporary diversion marginally offset from the construction works.

Will the existing bridleway be affected?

A very short section of bridleway will be slightly narrowed locally to accommodate the proposed road alignment. This minor amendment was approved following consultation with local users of the facility

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