A Facebook page has been set up calling for repairs to be made to the promenade at Tywyn.

Save Tywyn Beach (Neptune Road) Promenade was only set up on Sunday, 29 October and has already amassed 397 members.

The page is described as a “campaign page to demand the repair of Tywyn Promenade (Neptune Road)”.

Tywyn Town Council has also reported issues with the promenade. A post on its Facebook page on Monday, 30 October said: “The main slab at the slipway has collapsed further during the recent high tides.

“Members of the public are asked to follow the signage and to keep away from the area until full risk assessments have been undertaken.”

A further post added: “Following reports of further damage to the slipway by Neptune, Gwynedd Council has now closed a section of the promenade.”

With the situation likely to worsen in the winter storms, residents and business owners are concerned that the promenade will fall into a further state of disrepair, and are calling on Gwynedd Council to do something.

David Bates told the Cambrian News: “The maintenance of the sea wall and promenade lies with the local authority, Gwynedd Council in this instance.

“I have a holiday caravan nearby and no longer have access to the beach or coastal path.”

Sisters Paula and Leigh Tunnadine started the Facebook group calling for action.

Paula and Leigh Tunnadine
Paula and Leigh Tunnadine (Picture supplied)

Paula said: “My sister and I have started a campaign to save the Neptune Road promenade that has slowly been deteriorating over the past six years. With more recent noticeable movement in and under the slipway since the rock armour was placed at the Victoria slipway side 2009 and the breakwaters were shortened, there has been a shift of sand that has had a detrimental effect on the Neptune Road-side promenade.

“Our thoughts on a way forward would be to lengthen the breakwaters from the rock armour towards the end of Neptune Road promenade, like what has happened towards the Bryn y Môr side of Tywyn.

“The council was supposed to replenish the sand and shingle over the years since 2009 but have failed to do so.

“This neglect has resulted in the problems we are seeing 14 years later.”

Leigh said: “We are really worried about the damage that is being done. The sills to the promenade at the base of the sea wall have now all sheered off. This means the beach levels are too low and the sea can erode away underneath the prom and possibly further. When the sea hits the sea wall it makes the house shudder.

“Three generations of our family have been running the caravan park since 1954. My sister Paula and I took over in 2021. The council compulsory-acquired our land at the beach edge to build the promenade during the ‘60s, which we are grateful for as ourselves, our neighbours and probably most of Tywyn would be under water by now.

“But I first noticed some sinking of one of the slabs on the Neptune slipway about two years ago and then last year the top slab had noticeably moved also, along with the appearance of more cracks to the promenade deck. I reported it to the council and beach wardens.

“The council needs to reassess and research the groyne function. The new ones are too short and too high, gapping underneath the planks and therefore not retaining the material on the beach, resulting in washout. With higher sea levels this might be exacerbated and an additional sea defence system will probably be needed, like what they have in Borth.

“I guess the easiest solution will be to put large boulders along the seawall like what has been done to the north end of the prom. This doesn’t necessarily solve the problem but softens the impact of the sea bashing the sea wall and slipway, however it is a shame as it hinders regular access to the beach.

“In the Coastal Management Scheme the beach is meant to be replenished by materials, which isn’t being done.”

With weather events such as the recent Storm Ciarán becoming more frequent, there are fears the promenade could collapse further. Paula asked her friend Pete Williams to share his video of the sea hitting Tywyn promenade (see above).

Repair work has been carried out by Gwynedd Council in the past, but further damage has been caused by recent storms.

Tywyn Town Council members, safety asse­ssors working on Gwynedd Council’s behalf and members of the Maritime Agency have been visiting the site of the worst damage and the area has been cordoned off due to its potential risk to health and safety.

Tywyn Town Council clerk Chris Wood, who visited the site recently, said: “Gwynedd Council came out on and took the decision to close off a section of the prom around the area while they make a full assessment of its risk. The Maritime Agency also came, and they’ve raised the issue with coastal defence agencies who we hope will be coming to assess the situation.”­

Mike Stevens, chairman of the Chamber of Tourism and Commerce (CTC), said the CTC is eager for the repair work to be finished before Easter 2024. He also called the damage ‘surprising’ and said a ‘catastrophic collapse’ could occur in a storm like the one Wales faced last week.

Mike said: “We have had problems with this area of the promenade for a couple of years and Gwynedd Council did undertake repair work.

“Problems arose again earlier this summer following a storm which undermined the buttress holding the steps and slipway as all the ballast underpinning was washed out.

“The concerning thing about this recent sinking of the slipway is although we had high tides and a full moon there was no storm pushing the waves so the damage is quite surprising.­

“There are now also significant cracks and sinking on the main promenade walkway. If we experience any moderate to strong storms over the coming months there could be a catastrophic collapse and failure of this slipway and if that does happen it could take a large section of the main promenade with it.

“Gwynedd Council has taken the sensible precaution of closing this section of the promenade. They will also need very specific expert advice on how to repair the damage which will be a prolonged and costly job.

“Our promenade and beach are the biggest attraction in Tywyn and are vital to the economy of the town. Even though the main season has ended we still welcome and rely on the money winter visitors bring. The Chamber of Tourism and Commerce is also very concerned that the remedial work is done well before next year’s season start at Easter 2024.”

David said that as well as the damage to the promenade, there are also issues with the coastal path.

He said: “We live in Shropshire and will be visiting our caravan in Tywyn next week. We have been visiting for the last five years.

David Bates’ picture repairs being undertaken at the slipway in April 2022
David Bates’ picture of repairs being undertaken at the slipway in April 2022 (David Bates)

“The site, like many others, closes at the end of November for three months. I doubt very much that the council will be able to undertake the necessary repairs to the slipway and coastal path during the winter months. However, I am very keen to hear their response.

“We can see from our van that the path is well-used by locals and visitors alike to walk their dogs and gain access to the beach. There are also regulars who use mobility scooters and wheelchairs and cyclists as the path is safe, smooth and level.

“The access to the sea is used by those with surf and paddle boards, etc., including many young people from the nearby Outward Bound Centre.

“Repairs were undertaken to the slipway in April 2022. These works were ineffective as the slipway and steps to the beach were closed off again early this season and the situation has deteriorated since and the Wales Coast Path path is affected.

“The deterioration was very obvious recently to any passerby, with large chunks of concrete on the beach having broken away.

“For those with holiday caravans on our site and those adjacent, the round trip to the beach is now in excess of a mile as opposed a few yards. Not too bad if you are fit and healthy, but if you are elderly or disabled, this will make a difference.”

A Gwynedd Council spokesperson said: “The slipway to the beach in Tywyn by Ffordd Neptune has been closed for several months due to evidence of the structure being undermined, with a

further deterioration seen over the last week.

“The slipway will remain closed whilst the council looks at how to make the structure less susceptible to changes in beach levels.

“Part of the prom itself was temporarily closed last week due to suspected storm damage, but the prom path has since been reopened following an inspection by the council.”

The spokesperson said they were waiting for more information/confirmation regarding the coastal path problems in Tywyn.

Tywyn Town Council pic of the slipway at Tywyn
(Tywyn Town Council)