A BID is being made to Government for £500,000 emergency funding to partially re-shape a hill.

But fears that the latest land slip at Loftus Bank, east Cleveland, could be a costly repeat of the £2.5m restoration project, which followed a major collapse of the hillside in 1999, have proved unfounded.

The reassurance comes after experts investigated last summer's smaller landslide on the bank which carries the A174 Whitby coast road.

Engineers employed by Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council established that last July's landslide was not linked to the February 1999 incident when a slice of the bank, equivalent to half the width of the road, crashed 100ft to the bottom of a ravine.

About 20,000 tons of unstable ground were removed and replaced with 200,000 tons of earth. A 17.3m culvert was built over a stream and a 140m tunnel constructed to accommodate a sewer.

Councillor Eric Empson, council cabinet member for strategic planning, development and infrastructure, said: "The investigation tells us that the cause of the (July) slip was the over-steepness of the upper slope and the slope is not affected further down the embankment.

"To rectify that, we'll need to reshape the upper embankment and reconstruct the carriageway.''

A routine highway inspection last July, found a safety barrier had buckled. Temporary traffic lights, still in operation, were introduced, keeping traffic away from the affected area.