Essential Website Maintenance – Thursday 9th January 2020

We will be carrying out essential website maintenance in the afternoon which will affect some functionality. We apologise in advance for any inconvenience the work may cause and will do all we can to keep disruption to an absolute minimum.

Current work

Summary (optional)
Old Colwyn coastal defence
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2021 - 2024: Rotary Way to Splash Point

£6.075M (Welsh Government Resilient Roads Fund 2020-21), £3M (Welsh Government Local Transport Fund 2020-21), £6.182M (Resilient Roads Fund 2021-22) and £1M (Resilient Roads Fund 2022-23), £0.76M (Resilient Roads Fund 2023-24) and £0.76M (Active Travel Fund 2023-24)

The initial phase of this work targeted the section of promenade most at risk of collapse - the eastern section between Rotary Way and Splash Point (by Old Colwyn Arches).

The initial phase was expected to take 12 to 18 months from its start in May 2021, to include:

  • Building the first 370m of the rock barricade to protect the sea wall and promenade (also known as a ‘revetment’)
  • Extending the existing culvert at Splash Point through the new barricade
  • Protecting the Dwr Cymru Welsh Water outfall beneath the new barricade
  • A fishing platform at Splash Point
  • Improved beach access structures
  • Improved access over existing rock groynes on the beach

Most of the improvements in this phase are to the sea-side of the existing sea wall, providing the first level of protection. In future phases, we plan to increase the height of the promenade and make improvements to the promenade.

Because we received further funding once we’d begun this initial phase, we have been able to expand the coastal defence work, carrying out some of the extra work at the same time to reduce the time the promenade will be closed.  This includes:

  • Building 720m or rock barricade in front of the existing seawall
  • Raising the promenade and highway to the new finished level
  • Increasing the height of the recently constructed rock barricade to match the new raised promenade
  • Improving public space along the new raised section of promenade
  • Extending 2 existing culverts through the new barricade

In future phases, we plan to continue constructing sea defences between Rotary Way and Porth Eirias.

Disruption and road closure

These are major engineering works which need large equipment including cranes, tracked excavators and dumpers. We can only do this safely by completely closing off this section of promenade. The road and the active travel route from Splash Point (by Old Colwyn Arches) to Rotary Way will be closed throughout the work. We apologise for the inconvenience to local residents, visitors, walkers and cyclists.

See the diversion route map for pedestrians and cyclists. (PDF, 7MB)

If you have concerns about this work, please contact Griffiths’ Public Liaison Officer Rich Foxhall at or call 0330 041 2185.


Update - April 2024

The Old Colwyn promenade road and path are now open.

Access to the beach isn’t available just yet – there’s still some work to be done adding handrails to the new steps.

Update – October 2023

Work to raise the level of the promenade and road between Rotary Way and Splash Point (by Old Colwyn Arches) is well advanced. Approximately 590m of the 720m of new raised seawall has been constructed. Our contractor is placing fill material behind the completed sections of new seawall to raise the promenade and highway to its new level.

The 2 new beach access steps are due to be completed in the next few weeks. These steps will provide access to the beach through the new rock barricade. The rock armour is almost complete along its 720m length. There are only small sections remain to be completed once the new beach access steps are fully completed.
The path at the bottom of the railway embankment will be closed for the construction of the new re-aligned promenade road from 30 October. There is a pedestrian diversion in place. There is no change to the existing cyclist diversion that has been in place since the start of the work.

Update: March 2023

Construction of the 720m long rock barricade is progressing well. More than 137,000 tonnes of rock have been imported to site, allowing the team to build 470m of the new defence so far. Work is on track to complete this section of the barricade by summer 2023.

We’ve also been working on the new fishing platform, to provide a designated area to fish, away from the Active Travel route. We’ve installed all 14 of the 22m long tubular piles and 216m2 of steel, and we’re installing hand railing.

We’ve completed 2 culvert extensions through the new rock barricade, and installed sheet piles to support the new beach access steps. We will shortly be adding the concrete to make the new steps, along with new steps over the existing beach rock groynes.

We’ve also started constructing the new raised promenade, and the new seawall on top of the existing wall at the eastern end of the promenade. This work will continue throughout the rest of the year.

Update: April 2022

More than 40,000 tonnes of rock and material have been imported from North Wales quarries. This has allowed the project team to build around 200m of the 370m rock barricade planned for this phase of work.

Over the next few months, we will begin piling work for constructing two new sets of access steps onto the beach and the designated fishing platform.

The bespoke precast concrete access steps and wall sections have been delivered. Some of the precast units are imprinted with a special textured surface to promote marine wildlife habitat.

We have successfully applied for the planning permission and marine licences we need to finish constructing the overall scheme, for future phases of work.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are you doing?

We’re installing a rock barricade in front of the current promenade, from Rotary Way to the area known as Splash Point (at the Old Colwyn Arches end of the prom). This rock barricade will be built to the same height as the existing promenade level initially.

After receiving further funding, we are also raising the promenade and the road to protect them from the impact of coastal storm damage and sea level rises. When funding is available for future phases, we will continue this work between Rotary Way and Porth Eirias until the whole 1.2km section of Old Colwyn promenade is protected.

As part of the works, we are also adding step access to the beach through the rocks and a fishing platform.

How does it work?

The rock barricade helps to protect the bottom of the sea wall from being undermined. It also breaks up the energy of incoming waves during storms, resulting in smaller waves and reducing the pressure on the Victorian seawall.

Why are you doing this work?

This work is essential to strengthen the Victorian sea defences at Old Colwyn promenade. This will protect the promenade, the national cycle route, the main sewer for Old Colwyn, and the A55 and railway bridges. Without this work, there is a high chance that after a bad storm the promenade could need to be closed indefinitely.

When will the work be finished?

The work on this first phase will take 12 to 18 months, from its start in May 2021. We now have funding for the next phase of work, which we expect to start in summer 2022 as soon as this current work is completed.

Originally, the first phase included 370m of rock barricade, constructing 2 new beach access steps and a fishing platform. This work was due to take 12 to 18 months, from its start in May 2021.

Because of the additional work made possible by extra funding, this section of promenade will be closed for longer. We expect the full set of work to be completed by early 2024.

Is this just a temporary fix?

No. These works are the first major phase in sea defence and promenade improvements on Old Colwyn promenade.  This scheme has been designed to be permanent and fit in with later phases between Porth Eirias and Rotary Way.  Our plans for future phases include raising the level of the prom and the road.

Will we still be able to see the sea or access the beach during the work?

Yes, in parts. Before we can raise the promenade and the road to its new level, we need to place rock armour in front of the seawall to protect it. Once this is done, we will extend the height of the existing seawall by building a new seawall on top of it. We will then be able to raise the height of the promenade and the road to its new higher level, and add an extra layer of rocks to fully protect the existing and new seawalls.

The promenade from Splash Point (by Colwyn Bay Arches) to Porth Eirias is 1.3km (0.8 miles) long, so you will still be able to see the sea and access the beach along the rest of the prom.

Why are you doing this work if you don’t have funding for the whole scheme?

We need to protect Old Colwyn promenade now. Otherwise, there is a high chance that after a bad storm the promenade could need to be closed indefinitely. We are continuing to look for funding for the future phases. Having detailed designs and costings will help with this and allow construction work to start more quickly when we receive funding.

Can pedestrians and cyclists still use the promenade?

No. It’s not possible for pedestrians and cyclists to use the closed section of promenade during the construction works because of the large construction vehicles and machinery. There is a pedestrian diversion route along the raised path at the back of the promenade, which will be open whenever possible. Cyclists and vehicles will be diverted along local roads.  Access to the beach will be restricted where the work is taking place.

What will it look like? Can I see an artist’s impression?

The rock barricade will be similar to what is already in place at the eastern end of the prom, by Old Colwyn Arches. You can see plans and designs for the whole scheme on the Overall Scheme page.

Why can’t we have more sand?

We’ve been able to add sand to the beach on the more sheltered side, west of Porth Eirias. If we brought sand to the area between Porth Eirias and Splash Point (by Old Colwyn Arches) it would be lost at a much quicker rate than in the sheltered part of the bay, so this isn’t economically viable.

Where is the rock coming from for the barricade?

All of the rock is planned to come from North Wales quarries, but we may use other sources further away if there is a shortfall.

Why did the rock barricade work stop in 2021?

The Old Colwyn coastal defence work needs armour stone pieces weighing between 3 and 6 tonnes. The work involves phases of blasting and stockpiling at the quarry, and phases of placing the material on the beach.

Before they started work, our contractor expected that their chosen quarry supplier could produce the quantity of stone needed for the project. This was based on historic records and outputs at the quarry. The initial blasting at the quarry in June yielded significantly less suitable rock than anticipated. The quarry couldn’t increase the frequency of blasting operations until all the other rock from the blasting was processed and sold to make room for another blast.

To reduce the impact of the lower yield from the chosen quarry, over the last few months our contractor has investigated using additional local sources within North Wales. Before this other rock could be used, it had to be rigorously tested and analysed to make sure it was robust and suitable for coastal defence. This testing has recently been completed and provided positive results.

Our contractor arranged for the work to re-start as soon as possible. Machinery and equipment were moved off the prom to keep costs down while our contractor waited for the next rock delivery. These were then moved back to site and transport arrangements made to harvest, process and deliver the rock from multiple quarries.

Work began again on site in December 2021.

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