Saturday 08 August 2020

Any Questions?

Welcome to any questions, where you can read frequently asked questions and answers from the Slapton Line Partnership (SLP) and ask a question of the SLP yourself.

Below are the latest 10 questions submitted. If these don't present the answers you're looking for, try browsing the entire database. 

  1. Did the dredging at Hallsands that caused it to be washed away create the problem ?
  2. So why is the beach eroding ?
  3. Under What Circumstances Would the Road be Abandoned ?
  4. Why aren't you building hard engineered defences to protect the road
  5. What will happen to Buses ?
  • Did the dredging at Hallsands that caused it to be washed away create the problem ?

    The dredging of shingle from between the low and high water mark upto 1902 caused a fairly immediate loss of beach at Hallsands with the village becoming more vulnerable and eventually being extensively damaged in 1902 and 1917. But, there appears to have been no corresponding change in fortunes for Slapton Sands . According to the Scott Wilson report : The historical data analysis suggests that in overall terms the Slapton Sands shingle ridge has been largely stable over the last century, but with some net beach accretion at Strete gate and recession at Torcross. The report goes onto say : Long-term net erosion rates for the crest of the barrier are low, with a best estimate over 100 years of 0.1m/year for the centre of the Bay. Analysis of a number of maps and photographs for different periods of time between 1890 and the present day all indicate little overall movement of the crest. However, over shorter time periods rates of 0.4-0.6m have been found.
  • So why is the beach eroding ?

    There are three key beach processes at work at Slapton Sands : - Short-term storm impacts - Medium term longshore transport gradients - Long-term sea level rise (both from post glacial relaxation and climate change ??" currently totalling around 2 mm per year) causing the shingle barrier to rollback landwards The damage to the road in 2001 seems to have been a combination of a severe storm on top of high tide and at a point when the beach volumes above mid and high water levels at the location were at the lowest recorded value in the 31-year record. Examination of aerial photographs from 1999 shows that, compared to adjacent areas, the face of the shingle ridge was further seawards at the central car park and at the location where the road was undermined. Therefore these areas had steeper beaches and were at higher risk of greater erosion than other areas.
  • Under What Circumstances Would the Road be Abandoned ?

    - A number of factors will be taken into account in deciding whether or not to repair storm damage to the A379 between Torcross and Strete Gate:

    - The likelihood of a reoccurrence of the conditions that led to significant damage;

    - Financial costs of road repairs and the availability of funding;

    - Extent of damage to the road surface and supporting embankment;

    - Environmental conditions, and;

    - What stage the adaptation plan had reached.

    It is likely that the following circumstances would lead to a recommendation for abandonment of the road:

    - A total breach of the shingle embankment;

    - Loss of shingle ridge protection to the embankment supporting the road, and loss of part of the width of the road over a significant length.

    The highway authority will consult the local community in making a decision on the repair or abandonment of the road.

    Extracted from minutes of Steering Group September 2006

  • Why aren't you building hard engineered defences to protect the road

    The Slapton Line Partnership followed the recommendations as made by consultants Scott Wilson.  The full study they did can be found here and  includes a summary report. The decision also reflects the fact that the Partnership felt that road realignment  was the best option which would protect the area's special qualities rather than threatening them from heavy engineering works.  It was also the most realistic from a costpoint of view.


  • What will happen to Buses ?

    Slapton Ley breach contingency plans & options

    A summary response from the Transport Co-ordinators at Devon County Council is as follow :  

    Education Transport Contract routes

    The two main contract routes affected are DART051 and KSB006

    DART051 is a 16 seat vehicle that serves Stoke Fleming Primary from Stokenham and Strete. If a road breach were to occur Devon County Council would contact the operator, Tally Ho, to agree a best alternative route. This is likely to be a significant diversion (even though the vehicle size will allow it access the smaller lanes) as the route has to pick up at Coleridge Place which will involve the vehicle doubling back on itself for both outward & inward journeys. The long term effect would be that the route would incur extra costs due to the increase in mileage and time for the journeys. The whole route would need to be reviewed to ensure it is within the DCC policy of 45 minutes maximum journey time for primary school pupils; as the route varies over the years depending on the exact locations of pupils’ homes, there is little point in undertaking any detailed planning in advance for an unspecified time in the future.

    KSB006 is a 53 seat coach that serves Kingsbridge Community College from Torcross, Stokenham & Chillington. The major impact for this route is to find a safe place on route to turn a 53 seat coach around if there is one. Long term contingency could be to establish the car park (by the Sherman Tank memorial) at Torcross as a dedicated turning point for the coach. This would obviously depend on where the breach takes place. If it occurred south of the car park then an alternative turning point would be required. If an alternative could not be found a smaller vehicle contract might have to be put on in order to feed the pupils at Torcross up to Stokenham.

    Public Transport routes

    Service 93 – Dartmouth – Plymouth – Dartmouth via Kingsbridge

    This is where the major impact on the local transport network, and the accessibility it provides to communities, will be felt the most, as any breach of the Slapton Ley coast road will split this route into two halves. This route is operated by First Bus and is principally a commercial service and as such First Bus would decide what parts of the routes they would deem commercially viable, or whether they will continue to operate commercially between Kingsbridge and Dartmouth via Totnes Cross near Halwell in the short, medium or tong term. Due to the numbers of passengers carried, once a breach occurs it is unlikely that the two portions of the current route between Kingsbridge and Dartmouth will continue to be commercially viable, i.e.:

    (a) Kingsbridge/ Stokenham/ Torcross (and possibly Slapton depending on where the breach occurs), and

    (b) Dartmouth/Stoke Fleming/ Strete (and possibly Slapton depending on where the breach occurs)

    Therefore a likely significant issue is the need for additional funding to pay for these new routes, required to continue to provide essential access to communities no longer served by service 93.

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