Repairs underway on dangerous sinkhole

THE News & Mail has been credited with speeding up work to repair a large and dangerous hole in the road.

Colin Boxer wrote to Surrey County Council twice to report the 1m (3ft 3in) deep hole near his home in Pyrford.

Colin Boxer looking at the repairs that started earlier this week

He was told in an email that “We have visited the site and on closer inspection the problem does not need immediate work. We will continue to monitor and consider it when planning future works.”

Colin contacted the News & Mail after the hole had been left untouched for nearly five weeks after he reported it and making a second inquiry.

He said the council did put up barriers and warning cones the day after he first emailed them.

The News & Mail asked a council spokesman to comment and was told: “This defect was classed as a void which requires investigation to find the cause and was subsequently passed to the Highways engineering team.

The sinkhole as it first appeared

“The team currently have 14 voids ongoing, and these are dealt with in priority order.
“Unfortunately I don’t have a date when they are due to commence this, but the site is checked to ensure the area is safe to the public.”

The next day work started on repairing the hole.

Colin said: “I don’t think that without your involvement anything would have happened at all.”

He said he first noticed the hole while walking home from his work as a teacher on 6 May.

“It was the size of a football. I couldn’t see the bottom, so I got a torch and shone down it and saw that it was about a metre deep.

“If a child had cycled into that hole, they might have been seriously hurt and a car driving over it would have been a write-off.”

As well as reporting the hole to the council, Colin alerted his neighbours, including some who are elderly, with one aged 100.

He said he was pleased that the work has now started and used the incident in his lessons.

“The children were fascinated to hear about and see videos of huge sinkholes in Florida. They were especially taken by the story of a man who disappeared down one with his whole house while he was asleep. His body has never been recovered.

“At least that sort of thing doesn’t happen in Pyrford,” he added.

Recommended For You

About the Author: Editorial Team