aggregate industries launches significant report to analyse the true cost of coastal erosion to the uk

A new in-depth report published by Aggregate Industries, one of the UK’s leading manufacturer and supplier of sustainable construction and building materials, has attempted to answer what the true cost of coastal erosion is going to be to the nation.

The coastline in the UK is under serious threat from erosion as a result of climate change

Data shows that sea levels are expected to rise by a further metre by 2100, a figure that puts more than a quarter of the UK’s flood defence structures at risk of failure. 

Aggregate Industries’ latest report analyses the current geological and geomorphological factors, the human and economic impact of coastal erosion, mitigation and adaptation strategies, and the current legal and regulatory framework.

Research for the report has shown that the following are at risk of flooding by 2100:

  • 1.35 million properties
  • 1,600km of major roads
  • 550 hectares of higher-quality agricultural land
  • 650km of railway line
  • 92 railway stations
  • 55 historic landfill sites
  • 6 heritage sites
Small houses along a cliff edge, leading to a rocky beach at the sea

That estimated cost of coastal erosion to the UK, previously put at £12 billion, is largely attributed to the degradation of natural coastal defences such as salt marshes and seagrass beds, of which the UK has already lost significant portions in the last century. The economic impact is equivalent to more than the UK Government's annual spending on police, fire services and law courts.

Commenting in the report, Lee Sleight, Managing Director of Aggregates Division at Aggregates Industries, said: “In the face of the relentless and escalating threat of coastal erosion, we stand at a critical juncture where the silent force of the seas is reshaping the very fabric of our nation.

“The disheartening reality is that land, present merely 50 years ago, has vanished, and the forecasted rise in sea levels by a metre over the next century paints a dire picture.

“While the government's commendable commitment of £5.2 billion aims to protect vulnerable locations, the enormity of the challenge demands more. As we confront this unprecedented crisis, our collective responsibility is not merely to adapt but to innovate, fortify, and safeguard the resilience of our coastlines for generations to come. And we have the solutions to do so."

Read the full True Cost of Coastal Erosion to the UK report online now.

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