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Nacton pothole is ‘accident waiting to happen’

PUBLISHED: 05:31 16 February 2019

Traffic warning signs are in place and temporary repairs are expected to take up to eight weeks, according to Suffolk Highways Picture: JOHN NORRIS

Traffic warning signs are in place and temporary repairs are expected to take up to eight weeks, according to Suffolk Highways Picture: JOHN NORRIS

Archant

A pothole on a rural road in Suffolk is turning into a potentially lethal hazard - but Suffolk Highways do not have the money to fix it quickly.

Cars, tractors and lorries are veering across the road in a bit to avoid the pothole in Nacton Picture: JOHN NORRISCars, tractors and lorries are veering across the road in a bit to avoid the pothole in Nacton Picture: JOHN NORRIS

On Ipswich Road, in the village of Nacton, a hole in the tarmac has grown since November 2018, according to one local resident.

Nacton resident John Norris, 64, has seen tractors, lorries and HGVs take evasive action to avoid the hole, which means swerving across the central line and into the path of oncoming vehicles. The B-road is close to the A14 and has a high volume of traffic as well.

But flowing water underground from the River Orwell means that there are many cavities below roads in the vicinity of the shore.

In the Shotley Peninsula these have left buses dangling into sinkholes that have suddenly opened up as heavy vehicles passed over them.

About 5 foot long and getting deeper everyday.About 5 foot long and getting deeper everyday.

“My wife has had to avoid drivers on the wrong side of the road because they can’t afford to risk driving over such a big hole,” Mr Norris said.

“The water is coming from within the hole, it’s not rain water collecting in there.

“Every time the temperate drops, the water freezes and it gets bigger.

“The water underneath it is going to keep stripping away soil until there’s a sinkhole. I’m just waiting for the road to cave in.”

The hole in Ipswich Road, Nacton, is close to a natural spring and is filing with water. Drivers in Suffolk are having to take evasive action not to fall in it Picture: JOHN NORRISThe hole in Ipswich Road, Nacton, is close to a natural spring and is filing with water. Drivers in Suffolk are having to take evasive action not to fall in it Picture: JOHN NORRIS

Mr Norris informed Suffolk Highways of the problem and was told the works would begin on February 12 - but would take eight weeks to complete.

“There’s no sense of urgency - it’s an accident waiting to happen,” added Mr Norris.

A Suffolk Highways spokesman said: “We are aware of an ongoing issue at this location where there is a natural spring. We have made arrangements for the defect to be temporarily repaired however, due to the flow of water, we cannot guarantee a long term fix at this time.

“The defect repair timescale is in line with our highway maintenance criteria.

“Due to budget constraints, we are unfortunately unable to progress the drainage improvements at this time.

“We are continuing to monitor Ipswich Road and if the defect deteriorates further, we will take appropriate action. We will also inspect the defect following the repair and monitor the natural spring.”

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