Visitors were evacuated as a safety measure. (HM Coastguard Lowestoft)

UK - Holiday park evacuated after sudden collapse of coastal road

The coastguard said in a statement on social media: “The team were tasked tonight , along with a Fire Officer from Suffolk Fire & Rescue Service, to assess the situation at Pakefield Holiday Park, Arbor Lane, as this afternoon, a section of the road in front of the clifftop caravans collapsed onto the beach below.

Visitors at a holiday park have been evacuated after a coastal road fell into the sea.

Emergency services were called to Pakefield Holiday Park in Lowestoft, Suffolk, on Friday night to reports a clifftop road had subsided.

HM Coastguard Lowestoft and Suffolk Fire and Rescue attended the scene at 9.39pm and visitors were then evacuated over concerns their caravans were “dangerously close to the edge”.

Pictures show the damage caused by the tides which led to the collapse on Friday afternoon.

Authorities warned people not to use the steps at Arbor Lane or walk along the base of the cliffs and to keep away from the beach as it was “now a dangerous place to be”.

HM Coastguard Lowestoft confirmed it had been to the cliffs on Saturday morning and said it would monitor the situation throughout the weekend.

“Some of the vans are now dangerously close to the edge and several people have been evacuated.

“The beach at the bottom of the steps at Arbor Lane, has now mostly washed away. There is now a drop onto what’s left of the beach.

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“We have cordoned off the steps this evening. The relevant organisations have been informed.

“Please do not use the steps at Arbor Lane until the authorities have had a chance to act.

"The beach there is now a dangerous place to be. Please keep well away.

'Erosion hotspots'

At the beginning of 2023, 21 "erosion hotspots" were identified across the English coast.

The at-risk areas include seaside villages in Cornwall, Cumbria, Dorset, East Yorkshire, Essex, Kent, the Isle of Wight, Northumberland, Norfolk and Sussex.

The list of villages and hamlets at risk was compiled by climate action group One Home.

It said 2,218 homes were in danger, with an estimated total worth of £584m.

The UK government had committed to protecting 336,000 more properties as part of a six-year flood and coastal erosion programme from 2021 to 2027.

But a report published earlier this month showed the Environment Agency (EA) had reduced its forecast to 200,000 properties, identifying inflation as a major reason.

The report also revealed EA had removed 500 of the 2,000 new flood defence projects that were originally included in the government’s programme.

It comes despite the government doubling capital funding to £5.2 billion for the programme.

Meanwhile, 203,000 properties already protected from flooding are also facing an increased risk because of a £34 million shortfall in EA’s maintenance funding for existing flood defence assets for 2022-23, the report said.

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