Safety fears over massive hole in road near school
MEASURING one metre wide and 30cm deep, this hole in the road near a school has been described as "like a mine" – and you can see why.
The crater has opened up in Witcombe Place in Cheltenham, near to St John's Primary School.
School caretaker Mike Little reported the hole to Gloucestershire Highways at the beginning of last month, but it still hasn't been fixed.
And the 56-year-old is worried a school bus could fall into the hole when pupils return for the new academic year next month.
"Our children will be coming back to school soon and it is dangerous for them," he said.
"I told them (Gloucestershire Highways) before the holidays that this needs doing but it still hasn't been sorted.
"We have coaches going down here and someone could be injured.
"A coach could reverse into the hole. It really is very dangerous."
He added: "All they have done is put two barriers up, which keep falling down.
"Originally the hole was the size of a tennis ball so I put a cone over it, but it keeps getting bigger.
"It's more like a mine beneath the road than a pothole now."
Mr Little said no pupils walk down the road to reach the school so he is not concerned a child could fall in.
The delay in repairing the hole has been caused by a mix up between Gloucestershire Highways and Severn Trent Water.
Originally the hole was believed to have been caused by a collapsed sewer beneath the road.
So Gloucestershire Highways reported the incident to Severn Trent Water, which is responsible for the sewers.
But an investigation by Severn Trent found that the hole was not actually caused by a sewer collapse.
As a result, the ball is now back in Gloucestershire Highways court in regards to carrying out the repairs.
Local highways manager for the authority, Chris Riley, said: "We believed the hole was caused by a collapsed sewer.
"However Severn Trent don't think this to be the case after their initial investigations.
"Gloucestershire Highways will now arrange for the hole to be repaired while continuing to work with Severn Trent."
The giant pothole has also angered residents in Witcombe Place.
One man, who asked not to be named, said he couldn't understand why it was taking so long to fix the road.
"It is ridiculous, really," he said.
"It's certainly bigger than your average pothole so you would think they would get it fixed as soon as possible. But obviously not."
He said the hole had not proven a big problem for residents as the barriers made it clear it was there.
"But we obviously still want it fixed as soon as possible," he added.
Is there a huge pothole in your road? Are you sick of driving over holes in the road? Call the Echo'snewsdesk on 01242 278081 or email your photos to email@example.com.