Repairs underway after sinkhole opens on Northumberland road

Repairs underway after sinkhole opens on Northumberland road

Image source, Steven Bridgett

Image caption, The road is closed so repairs can be carried out

Repairs are being carried out on a country road after a sinkhole developed.

The road opened on Monday on the C180 between Swindon and Holystone, just before the Swindon Bridge on the edge of the Northumberland National Park.

Steven Bridgett, independent district councillor for Rothbury, said he suspected the gap had been created by “years of mismanagement and under-investment” in rural roads.

Northumberland County Council has been contacted for comment.

Image source, Steven Bridgett

Image caption, There are several types of sinkholes, also called dolines, which are caused by different processes, including dissolution, collapse and erosion.

According to the British Geological Survey (BGS), a sinkhole is “a natural surface depression formed by the dissolution of soluble rocks at depth”.

According to the BGS, heavy rainfall or surface flooding can cause the buildings to collapse, as can construction work or leaking drains.

Many of these accidents are caused by historical mining. According to the Coal Authority, 770 cases were inspected last year.

A provincial traffic management team has inspected the hole and repairs are being carried out.

However, Mr Bridgett warned it could have caused a “nasty accident” and he feared it could happen again.

“It’s not the first time we’ve had something like this. A few years ago there was one towards Elsdon, and it was even bigger,” he said.

“It all comes down to our inadequate drainage system, which is really badly managed in this region, which is why there are so many potholes in the road.

“It is likely that in this case water got under the road and washed away part of the road, but that too is due to poorly maintained drainage,” he added.

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