THE PUBLIC are being reminded not to use the Highcliffe zig zag.

The route down to the beach at Highcliffe Castle is closed.

The path is unsafe to use and Christchurch and East Dorset Councils have fenced off the area.

They have also put up no entry signs and signposted alternative beach access points.

Despite this, some members of the public are jumping the barriers to gain access down to the beach and putting themselves at risk.

Matti Raudsepp, strategic director at Christchurch and East Dorset Councils, said: “We understand the closure of the path has impacted on residents and visitors but the decision was taken to ensure the safety of the public, which must always be our priority.

"With the path continuing to deteriorate we cannot emphasise enough the importance of people not ignoring the security measures we have put in place to prevent access to the zig-zag.”

Councillors are discussing whether to fund the works needed to repair the zig zag at a meeting of the community committee on August 9.

The estimated cost for rebuilding the path is £1.25 million.

Work was original expected to cost in the region of £580,000.

If councillors decide to scrap the zig zag, the council faces a £140,000 bill to demolish it and restore the area to a natural cliff face.