New Birling Gap steps were reopened for bank holiday

New steps at Birling Gap opened in time for the Bank Holiday weekend.

The steps from the cliff top down to the beach opened on Saturday (June 25).

Stairs down to beach at Birling Gap being moved back due to erosion, May 29th 2013 E22195P

Stairs down to beach at Birling Gap being moved back due to erosion, May 29th 2013 E22195P

Access between the beach and clifftops had been restricted for 18 days while the work took place, but the steps opened in time for the busy and sunny weekend.

This follows work, which started on May 7, to replace the steps in response to coastal erosion.

Walkers were unable to access the cliffs during the works. There was also a warning from the council to deter people from walking along the shoreline between Eastbourne and Cuckmere Haven, as there is a risk of being cut off by the tide.

The cliffs at Birling Gap are visited by more than 350,000 people each year.

The £60,000 investment in the replacement steps, made jointly by Wealden District Council and The National Trust, will ensure access to beach is maintained in the future.

Since the last replacement staircase was installed in 1996, the cliffs where the staircase and walkway are attached have eroded by ten metres.

This work to move the steps was carried out in the spring to avoid the violent winter storms.

The new replacement staircase is made from galvanised steel fitted with sustainable hardwood treads.

The work was carried out by Uckfield-based civil engineers C J Thorne & Co.

A Wealden District Council spokesperson said, “The steps may have to be closed again for short periods during the coming week to allow additional work to take place, but this should not affect access for any length of time.”