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Motorbike crashes into sinkhole in Martens Avenue, Bexleyheath


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Additional reporting by Sean Delaney

A biker who spotted a sinkhole at the last minute tried to jump it, fell in and ran off.

The gaping void opened up in a busy road yesterday evening and is estimated to be five metres deep.

Police and fire crews were called to Martens Avenue, Bexleyheath, shortly before 9pm.

A cordon is in place along the road between Leysdown Avenue and Old Road at the junction with Watling Street.

Officers remained at the scene overnight to monitor the situation. Workers from Thames Water and a council engineer were also on site this morning to carry out assessments.

Mike Stevens, who lives in an adjoining street, was travelling home last night when he came across the massive hole.

"When I turned into the road I thought what the hell," said Mr Stevens.

"Thankfully I stopped and parked up. Whilst I was doing this a motorcycle whizzes past.

"Obviously he didn't see the hole. He tried to jump it but the bike ended up in the hole.The guy then ran away."

Neighbour Mark Joynes, 38, said: "About 9pm I heard a massive crash bang and looked out the window and there was a massive hole in the road.

"It was completely out of the blue. I had driven over it just a couple of hours ago so thankfully no one was hurt.

"Doesn't look like anything bad happened to anybody but given there is a massive hole in the road it's a pretty big shock."

A huge sinkhole has opened up in the middle of the street in Martens Avenue, Bexleyheath. Photo: Mike Stevens
A huge sinkhole has opened up in the middle of the street in Martens Avenue, Bexleyheath. Photo: Mike Stevens

Mark Joynes talks about how neighbours are curious to know the cause of the sinkhole

He added: "Essentially I think for most people everyone was just curious to know how it happened. None of us really know how this could have happened."

Another resident, who did not wish to be named, described the commotion outside as emergency services arrived.

She said: "It was about 9pm and there were loads of flashing lights through the window, that is all I know.

"I thought there had been an accident but it was then I saw the road. After that I came back in doors."

Bexley council and Thames Water are investigating to establish the cause of the collapse.

A huge sinkhole has opened up in the middle of the street in Martens Avenue, Bexleyheath. Photo: Mike Stevens
A huge sinkhole has opened up in the middle of the street in Martens Avenue, Bexleyheath. Photo: Mike Stevens

John Ferry, a spokesman for Bexley council, said: "We were alerted by the emergency services just after 9pm last night after a large sinkhole appeared.

"The hole is about 7m x 7m and 4m deep. It extends across the full width of the carriageway up to the pavements on either side.

"There appears to be no damage to nearby homes, although they are affected by loss of access and some services.

He added: "We have fenced the area off and the road is closed to through traffic.

"We will continue to be involved to ensure the safety of the site and its repair.

"This is likely to take some time due to the nature of the soil, depth of the hole, and the need for specialist equipment."

It comes shortly after a collapsed water sewer was reported nearby in Crayford Road next to the drive-thru McDonalds, near Dartford – just six months after it occurred in the same spot.

Repair work to fix the collapsed water sewer started last month and is not due to finish until July 6 adding to existing traffic woes.

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