A MAJOR clean-up operation will begin on the East Cliff tomorrow following last month’s 100ft landslip.

An abseiling team will begin work at 9am to secure the Edwardian funicular railway lift, which was left submerged in debris during the April 24 incident, in readiness for its removal.

And on Thursday a 120-tonne mobile crane – the same height as 10 double-decker buses – is expected to arrive to remove 140 tonnes of rocks.

Larry Austin, Bournemouth council’s director of environment services, said that pedestrian access will be restricted along the clifftop while the large machinery is being operated.

“It is our intention to have the site cleared within the next few weeks ahead of the Wheels Festival, and in the meantime East Overcliff Drive will remain closed to motorists,” said Mr Austin.

“Barriers and cordons will remain in place and signage is there to keep the public informed. We would ask the public to observe these cordons.

“Once we have undertaken the clean-up operation we will establish any longer term actions that may be required.”

Work will also commence tomorrow on forming a temporary walkway on the beach adjacent to the cliff lift site.

A council spokesman said that once the debris has been cleared from the tracks, the lift carriages will be raised off the restraining rails and transferred to the working site at the top of the cliff.

The spokesman added that a detailed inspection of the cliff had shown no further movement has occurred.

After the clifftop is cleared of all loose materials, work will then focus on removing the debris at the bottom of the cliff, which crushed a toilet block.

The engineering team will then regrade the slipped cliff material to stabilise the slope.

Pedestrian and cycle access is still available through the promenade. However, some car parking spaces along the Undercliff Drive remain closed off.

A temporary road closure along East Overcliff Drive is expected to remain in place until the end of May to allow contractors to complete the work.