THE funicular railway on Bournemouth’s East Cliff will remain closed for at least a further two years following the landslip last year.

Council bosses say the area will remain sealed off for public safety.

The extensive landslip happened in the early hours of April 24.

It demolished the East Cliff toilets and undermined the cliff lift structure.

Around 40 monitoring points were set up to measure the likelihood of further movement and biodegradable matting was fixed to the cliff face for protection against further damage from wind and rain.

In the clear-up operation, a mobile crane about the same height as 10 double decker buses moved rubble and more than 100 rock-filled gabions with a combined weight of 140 tonnes were removed.

The landslide is thought to have been caused by water saturating sandstone layers. Now Bournemouth council’s Director of Environment Larry Austin says specialist teams will be on site in the next two weeks.

He said: “After the period of monitoring following the completion of the cliff recovery stage, over the next two weeks specialist rope access teams will be descending from the cliff top to undertake detailed inspections of its condition, together with some minor repairs to the protective matting.

“These inspections will help to establish the scale of works to repair the cliff, costs for which are likely to be significant and will be undertaken within an area designated a site of special scientific interest (SSSI).”

The council has already stated that it aims to fully restore the East Cliff lift as well as adding new facilities to the site, at an estimated cost of at least £5 million.

The draft scheme includes a toll house, toilets, food outlets, beach decking and a ‘signature’ building at the cliff top, which would likely take two to three years to complete.