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7ft hole opens near pathway
5:00am Monday 10th February 2014 in News
AN EVER-widening hole has opened up in a beauty spot and dog walker Ken Wordsall fears it could swallow a bike, a pet or even a child.
Swindon Council and Thames Water have been notified of the 4ft-wide hole, which is about 7ft deep, near the cycle path that runs near Dart Avenue into the Sevenfields Nature Reserve.
Barriers have been put up to warn people to stay away.
But Ken, 73, of Greenmeadow, said it needed to be sorted soon as the forecast heavy rain could cause the hole to expand further.
He said: “The council have put the boards up but they don’t cover it and it got wider in the half an hour between me spotting it and then walking back past it with the dog.”
The retired production superintendent said the cycle path could even be under threat as more of the earth falls away.
But he said it was unclear who had responsibility for repairing the hole.
“I called the council and they hot-footed it out there and put the barriers up,” he said.
“Then I spoke to Thames Water and they turned round and said if it was a problem with their sewer pipe or a storm drain they could fix it but if it was subsidence it’s the Environment Agency, so they are sending an engineer out to investigate.
“But they said it’s not their job to report it to the Environment Agency.
“Something needs doing quickly – it’s dangerous. “The cycle path is busy and sometimes the youngsters cycle on the grass to get round people on the path.
“If a pet were to fall down it they’d disappear – it’s about 7ft deep and you can hear the rush of water below.
“If we get the rain forecast it will just get bigger and bigger and more of the earth will fall in.”
A spokesman for the council said: “We have been informed about it and it appears to be a water chamber. “We have made the area safe and are conducting investigations to find out who is responsible.”
A spokesman for Thames Water said: “We have logged it on our system and will be sending an engineer out in the near future to look at whether it is a problem with our network or not.”