Traffic chaos as ANOTHER sinkhole opens in major city route

A sinkhole has opened up at the Aylsham Road traffic lights. Pictured inset is Kevin Woodcock who lives nearby 

A sinkhole has opened up at the Aylsham Road traffic lights. Pictured inset is Kevin Woodcock who lives nearby - Credit: Ben Hardy

Emergency works are under way to repair a second sinkhole which has opened up in the city suburbs.

The junction of Aylsham Road, Woodcock Road and Mile Cross Road closed on Friday after a collapsed sewer resulted in a large hole opening up. 

It comes just after another sinkhole closed off the nearby Junction Road - which is located just off Aylsham Road.

The junction of Aylsham Road and Mile Cross Road is closed 

The junction of Aylsham Road and Mile Cross Road is closed - Credit: Ben Hardy

Anglian Water expects to have the work completed on the second sinkhole near the Aylsham Road traffic lights by the end of next week. 

A spokeswoman for the company described the work as requiring a "complex repair" due to a deep excavation. 

The junction of Mile Cross Road, Woodcock Road and Aylsham Road is closed due to a sinkhole 

The junction of Mile Cross Road, Woodcock Road and Aylsham Road is closed due to a sinkhole - Credit: Ben Hardy

She added that a diversion is in place to ease traffic along Aylsham Road as workmen have begun on the emergency repair.

Chrissie Rumsby, county councillor for Mile Cross (Lab), said: "It's just more chaos. This has added to the pressure of the sinkhole closing Junction Road.

Chrissie Rumsby, Labour candidate for Mile Cross. Pic: Labour Party.

Mile Cross councillor Chrissie Rumsby - Credit: Labour Party

"There seems to be a lot going on at the moment at the same time - and just after we were celebrating Sweet Briar Road opening." 

Motorists queuing at the temporary traffic lights in Aylsham Road 

Motorists queuing at the traffic lights in Aylsham Road - Credit: Ben Hardy

Ting He, owner of the Evergreen Chinese takeaway has already seen business hit by the new Aylsham Road bus lane limiting parking spaces for customers. 

On the latest closure, Mr He said: "I hope it does open next week.

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"There have been large queues at the traffic lights. We have lost a lot of customers saying they have nowhere to park."

Ting He, owner of the Evergreen Chinese takeaway in Aylsham Road 

Ting He, owner of the Evergreen Chinese takeaway in Aylsham Road - Credit: Ben Hardy

The fresh set of roadworks has also had an impact on homeowners in the area.

Anglian Water is working on a sinkhole in Aylsham Road 

Anglian Water is working on a sinkhole in Aylsham Road - Credit: Ben Hardy

Kevin Woodcock, 64, who lives in the corner of Woodcock Road, said: "It does cause issues with access as you have to drive the long way around. 

"Fortunately I am retired but it does add 10 minutes to most journeys. 

"They cordoned everything off on Friday night and it was absolute mayhem along here at rush-hour." 

Kevin Woodcock, who lives in Woodcock Road 

Kevin Woodcock, who lives in Woodcock Road - Credit: Ben Hardy

Mr Woodcock said he has previously had someone park across his driveway as they were stopping off to pick something up.

Looking at the sinkhole from Woodcock Road 

Looking at the sinkhole from Woodcock Road - Credit: Ben Hardy

The motorist then had to call a locksmith out after losing his car key, leaving Mr Woodcock's car blocked in all night.

Anglian Water has closed off the junction of Aylsham Road, Mile Cross Road and Woodcock Road 

Anglian Water has closed off the junction of Aylsham Road, Mile Cross Road and Woodcock Road - Credit: Ben Hardy

Why does Norwich have so many sinkholes? 

When people think of sinkholes the image of a red double decker bus falling down a hole in Earlham Road springs to mind. 

This extraordinary incident took place in March 1988 when the collapse of a medieval chalk mine caused a hole to form underneath the bus' wheels.

The memorable day a bus fell down a hole in Earlham Road in Norwich - 3rd March 1988.Photo: Adrian J

The memorable day a bus fell down a hole in Earlham Road in Norwich - 3rd March 1988.Photo: Adrian Judd © Archant (01603) 772434 - Credit: Adrian Judd © Archant

There have been numerous occasions when sinkholes have appeared in the Fine City - and it is all down to the chalk beneath our feet.

Damaged infrastructure can play a part in sinkholes forming but there are natural causes too.

This includes heavy rainfall. 

But Norwich's chalk poses problems when it comes to sinkholes as this is a form of limestone containing the mineral calcite which is water soluble.

The sinkhole in Junction Road, pictured on the morning of Monday, June 13 

The sinkhole in Junction Road, pictured on the morning of Monday, June 13 - Credit: Maya Derrick

Other notable sinkholes in the city's past were a 30ft deep hole in Hellesdon's Mountfield Park in October 2018, a three metres wide sinkhole in Heartsease's Frere Road in March 2021 and another in Rouen Road in March 2018.