The facts and figures

The landslip near Rothbury.
The landslip near Rothbury.

Councillors were shocked to hear that a main road into Rothbury is likely to be closed for more than a year.

The B6344 between Rothbury and Weldon Bridge has been shut since Boxing Day after a landslide caused it to crumble into the river.

And at last week’s monthly parish meeting, an engineer from N orthumberland County Council, who has been working on the project to repair it, said that it is not likely to be fixed anytime this year because of the severity of the problems.

Simon Rudman, bridges manager at the local authority, told the meeting that there is continual movement at the site and until this has stabilised it is difficult to assess the problems.

“We have had initial discussions with land owners, the National Trust, Natural England and others,” he said.

“But it is difficult to get agreement on work when we haven’t got any details to submit.”

Bore holes need to be drilled into the land to find out the cause of the problem.

But because it is so unstable it is not yet possible to get in the equipment to do this.

Mr Rudman added: “We have put together an engineering ground investigations contract and that has gone out to tender, but the problem is getting on site.

“There is nowhere to put people or equipment.

“Cragside has had some issues on the estate as well and there are much bigger problems going on there.”

Once the cause has been determined the county council will then have to find the right solution.

Mr Rudman added that there is a ‘range’ of these and they ‘vary from the expensive to the very expensive’.

Councillors said they understood about the problems, however Coun Alan Fendley raised concerns that restrictions on entering the river may put back any work.

Mr Rudman said the area was in a Site of SpecialScientific Interest and work would therefore need the go-ahead from Natural England.