Could Sudbury sink hole have been avoided? Residents reported cracks in the road

Sinkhole in Newton Road, Sudbury. Photo: Anglian Water.

Sinkhole in Newton Road, Sudbury. Photo: Anglian Water.

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Questions have been asked of whether a sink hole in Sudbury could have been avoided after a least two reports of cracks in the road were made.

A burst water main caused a ‘massive’ sinkhole to open up in one of the main routes in and out of the town on Friday.

Police were called at 8.37am to reports a ‘massive dip’ – 1ft deep and covering an area of 5sq ft – had opened up in Newton Road.

A spokeswoman for Anglian Water said: “A burst water main washed the soil away from underneath the road, that’s why this hole has opened up.”

The hole has caused traffic disruption with Newton Road likely to remain closed until the weekend as engineers work to fill the hole and resurface the road.

Two residents who reported large cracks in the road before have questioned the response of Suffolk County Council.

The reports were made on August 24 and October 3 last year.

In reply to the reports county council’s highways team replied: “We have investigated your recent report. We have taken into account the severity of the issue and the level of usage and at this time, we do not feel that any action is necessary.

“However we will continue to monitor this location as part of routine inspections and works will be carried out if required in the future.”

Colin Bayly, from Newton Croft, Sudbury, was one of those the report the issue.

“I reported a crack in the road which was about 20 metres across, like a branch in the road,” he said.

Mr Bayly questioned whether the council could have used equipment to assess any structural issues under the surface.

“Traffic around town is really bad now,” said the 59-year-old. “I hope they have learned their lesson, not to just look on top of the road but under it, the situation would have been better.”

Mr Bayly said he told the council work had previously been carried where the cracks had appeared.

A Suffolk County Council spokesman said: “We were aware of cracks in the area, but at that stage we did not consider there was a need for urgent work. There was no evidence to suggest that a water main would fail and cause a sinkhole.

“We will continue to monitor the cracks in the adjacent area and work with Anglian Water to minimise the chance of future sinkholes appearing in the immediate vicinity.”

A spokeswoman for Anglian Water said: “We’re really sorry about this. We will be working on site to get it repaired and reopened as soon as possible, but at the moment it’s looking like it will be closed throughout the week.”