New makeover needed for Yarmouth's Marine Parade

It is one of Yarmouth's greatest attractions for holidaymakers.But now the resort's golden sand appears to have thrown a spanner into a �5m project to breathe fresh life into the town's seafront.

It is one of Yarmouth's greatest attractions for holidaymakers.

But now the resort's golden sand appears to have thrown a spanner into a �5m project to breathe fresh life into the town's seafront.

Three years ago, new raised pedestrian crossings and road surface work were completed on Marine Parade to help attract visitors and make it safe for seafront walkers.

But from Monday, engineers will be repairing the crossings and roads in time for the main holiday season because of the amount of wear and tear they have suffered.

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It is thought that the uneven and soft sand below the new structures, which are part of a highly successful major seafront regeneration project, is causing the problem.

Engineers from May Gurney will be repairing carriageways, so-called pedestrian table crossings and the main crossing opposite Britannia Pier in time for the spring bank holiday. The work will cost about �30,000. However, further work may have to be carried out later in the year

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Norfolk County Council has been unable to find the exact cause of the damage but cites poor ground conditions as a possible reason.

The authority also defended the original work by saying it had been carried out to higher then specified standards and had been closely supervised.

Nick Tupper, area manager for planning and transportation, said: 'It is disappointing that these problems have only appeared three years after construction.

'We had hoped our investigations would explain what had gone wrong and help us make permanent repairs. Unfortunately, our laboratory has still not been able to pinpoint a cause - although they have ruled out faulty materials.

'We have reached the point where we must press ahead with repairs if the seafront is to be at its best for the main tourist season.

'Investigation of the underlying cause will continue, but if further work is recommended, this will have to take place after the summer season.

'The ground conditions over much of Yarmouth are known to be poor.

'That is why at the time the county council paid for higher specification surfacing and made sure the construction of the pedestrian crossing points was very closely supervised.'

The �5m new-look seafront, which has won several awards, is part of a �16.3m multi-agency Integrate scheme to regenerate large swathes of Yarmouth.

Graham Plant, borough councillor for tourism, said he was confident that engineers would resolve the sand problem. 'The work on the seafront has been very well received by visitors and locals alike and we are very proud of it,' he said.

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