A183 Coast Road realignment


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

Because of this, we have moved the road away from the clifftop at its closest point.

Construction work started late November 2022, and the project was completed in August 2023.

We believe that by doing this work we have extended the lifespan of the coastal route by around 50 years. 

What we have done

We have moved a 500 metre section of this popular coastal road up to 24 metres inland. 

This is where the Coast Road is closest to the clifftops, between the Lime Kilns and the holiday park near the Marsden Grotto.

As part of this project a wider segregated footway / cycleway has been created alongside the new road.

Location map

A183 MAP

A183 Pink
Location of former road - now landscaped
A183 Grey
New road
A183 LightBlue
Footway / cycleway
A183 GreyHatch
Local realignment of bridleway
A183 LightGreen
Soft verge
A183 Green
Cutting / embankment


Work on the realigning scheme started in November 2022 and finished in August 2023.

Completion of the scheme was slightly delayed from the original finish date of June 2023. Poor weather held up progress, and in addition, we also revised our plans to keep the Coast Road open as much as possible while the work took place.

What has happened to the "old road"

Following diversion of the traffic onto the new alignment, the redundant section of the road has been removed and this area has been landscaped to return it to grassland.


Background of the project

Careful consideration has been taken in the development of this project. 

In May 2019 we asked for specialist advice from Royal Haskoning DHV, a company with an international reputation in this field.

They were commissioned to monitor surveys and provide a greater understanding of the behaviour of the cliff edge at critical 'pinch point' sections of Marsden Bay. 

Their report explained 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 advice on safety thresholds and actions to be undertaken.

One action was to commence work on realigning the road, which is what we did.

Why did we not stop the cliff erosion

The advice within the report concluded that it is not a practical option to locally defend the cliff line around the 'pinch point' sections due to the negative effects it would have on the rest of the bay.

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 features in an area that is a Site of Special Scientific Interest. 

Any coastal defence against marine erosion would not stop the change in the cliff line.

Planning application

We appointed design consultant Capita to produce an initial scheme design. Following this, further investigations were carried out and a final design was produced by Capita.

A planning application was submitted and consent was granted in February 2022.


The Lime Kilns

To ensure there was no negative impact on the Lime Kilns, which are located nearby, we produced a detailed Environmental Impact Assessment.

Recommendations of the assessment included installing vibration monitoring equipment whilst the work was being carried out.

A subsequent amendment to the original proposed plans removed the likelihood of any impact from the works on the Lime Kilns. However, the vibration monitoring was still completed for information purposes.

Appointment of a contractor

The work to carry out the scheme was put out to a competitive tender, and in October 2022 Howard Civil Engineering Ltd were appointed.

Following the successful acquisition of the land, in an exchange between the Council and the National Trust, work started to move the road away from the clifftops in November 2022. 


The project was completed in late summer 2023 and the new road is now in operation.

Further information

If you have a query or need more information, contact South Tyneside Council's Coast Road team on 0191 427 7000 or email coastroadteam@southtyneside.gov.uk.

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