Storms cause havoc in Montrose

Coastal path at Esk Road which has been closed due to coastal erosion
Coastal path at Esk Road which has been closed due to coastal erosion

The recent storms have caused the closure of a popular Montrose path due to coastal erosion and have had a considerable impact on the town’s historic golf course.

The condition of the coastal path at Esk Road, on Rossie Island, and the dunes at the edge of one of Montrose Golf Links courses have been brought to the attention of Montrose Liberal Democrat Councillor David May.

Part of the coastal path at Esk Road has been eroded due to adverse weather and rising sea levels.

After visiting the site and seeing the extent of the erosion, Mr May contacted Angus Council’s roads department.

He said a senior officer visited the site and, as a result, the path has now been closed.

Mr May said: “I agreed with him about the closure on safety grounds in the short term, but I raised my concerns about this popular path. Unless action is taken, the erosion could get worse and eventually the path could be completely eroded away.”

Mr May also raised concerns that there are possible problems in the future if action is not taken, as the Esk Road is close to residential homes in Thompson Terrace and the railway line.

Mr May returned to Esk Road during high tide and said it was clear the water level was very close to the path.

Ferryden Community Council chairman Gordon Brown, who lives at Thompson Terrace, said the erosion at Esk Road has been getting significantly worse over the last two years and has raised concerns that the spring tides could make the problem even worse.

Bags and gabions, which are cages or boxes filled with rocks, concrete, or sand and soil, have previously been used to prevent further erosion of the road, which is by Montrose Basin, but Mr Brown said he is asking Angus Council to think about long-term solutions, such as sea defences.

He said: “Something needs to be done now before it gets worse. Esk Road is the only way to access to Thompson Terrace and Seaview Place and if the road disappears how will people be able to get in and out to go work and go about their daily life? What if somebody needed an ambulance, how would it get through?”

A spokesperson from the local authority said: “We are considering long-term options for the path at Esk Road. Any work to protect the path would be subject to finance being available and would also involve discussions with the landowners, Scottish Natural Heritage and Network Rail.”

Mr May said enquires have been made to find out who owns the land, as although part of Esk Road is owned by Angus Council, the path is not.

The recent storms in Montrose have had a considerable impact on coastal erosion at the historic Montrose Golf Links, which is more than over 450 years old, causing the loss of more dunes at the edge of the fairway between the second and fifth holes on the Montrose Medal Course.

Mr May contacted the relevant senior council officer who inspected the area, after which new sand fencing was installed to replace the fence which has been lost due to the erosion.

He said: “Over the last 20 years coastal erosion has had a devastating affect on the beach at Montrose and also the loss of much of what was part of the second fairway of our golf course, which is the fifth oldest in the world. This led to Montrose Golf Links Limited having to spend considerable sums on realigning the fairway.”

Last year, updated plans were given to councillors to protect Montrose Beach and Montrose Golf Links from erosion by the North Sea, with the aim of slowing down the rate of the erosion in the dune system.

Following further discussion between Mr May and the council officer, a meeting will be organised within the next two weeks between representatives from the Montrose Golf Links and members to discuss a way forward. Afterwards, a full stakeholders’ meeting will be organised.