City road closed after sinkhole suddenly opens up

Beaconsfield Road in Norwich was closed after a sinkhole opened up.

Beaconsfield Road in Norwich was closed after a sinkhole opened up. - Credit: Simon Parkin

A sinkhole has forced the closure of a residential street in Norwich while further investigations take place into its safety.

The gaping hole appeared in the tarmac on Beaconsfield Road sometime on Wednesday evening.

The road is set to remain closed until next week, when the hole can be repaired.

Residents said they had been forced to stop traffic amid fears of a further collapse. 

Martin Lippiatt, whose house overlooks the new hole in the road, said: “A lady was walking down the road and noticed it and called the council.

"I was out here last night stopping traffic coming down the road because we were worried the tarmac would give way and a car might disappear down a bigger hole.

The sinkhole on Beaconsfield Road in Norwich.

The sinkhole on Beaconsfield Road in Norwich. - Credit: Simon Parkin

"It looks like a small hole at the surface but that doesn’t show the full extent of just how large it is underneath.”

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The terrace house-lined road, which runs from Sprowston Road to Silver Road, was partially closed between Spencer Street and Sprowston Road on Thursday morning.

Engineers from Norfolk County Council were inspecting the site to discover whether it had been caused by a water leak or by underlying problems.

Work underway to investigate the cause of the Beaconsfield Road in Norwich.

Work underway to investigate the cause of the Beaconsfield Road in Norwich. - Credit: Simon Parkin

A Norfolk County Council spokesperson, said: “We expect to be able to carry out repairs to the road next week once detailed investigations into the issue are complete.

"Vehicles will be able to access Beaconsfield Road via Spencer Street until the work is finished and the road can be fully reopened.”

Norwich has a history of sinkholes occurring where chalk bedrock is near the surface.

This latest sinkhole follows a series of holes opening up Angel Road, also in the north of the city, close to the spot where a burst water main caused problems six months ago.

Meanwhile work is continuing to repair a giant four-metre deep sinkhole that appeared suddenly in Frere Road Park in Heartsease earlier this month. 

And most famously, in 1988 a chalk mine collapsed under Earlham Road, with a major sinkhole forming which swallowed a double decker bus.

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