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Sinkhole on the A26 Tonbridge Road in Maidstone pictured using drone


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Aerial images reveal the scale of a huge sinkhole which has opened up in Kent this week.

The carriageway collapsed along the A26 Tonbridge Road, Maidstone, and is shut between Queens Road and Cherry Orchard Way.

Aerial images have captured the scale of a large sinkhole on the A26 Tonbridge Road, Maidstone. Picture: Hawkeye Aerial Media
Aerial images have captured the scale of a large sinkhole on the A26 Tonbridge Road, Maidstone. Picture: Hawkeye Aerial Media

It is expected to remain closed for almost a week as work is carried out to repair the road.

Drone pictures captured by Hawkeye Aerial Media have revealed the size of the sinkhole.

The hole measures about 5m by 6m and is located just 500m from where a huge void appeared in 2018, leading to frustration from residents.

Teams from South East Water have been carrying out investigations and some people living nearby were left without tap water - but this has since been restored.

Kent County Council said yesterday the road will be closed to traffic between Queen's Road and Hambledon Court for at least six days.

The sinkhole on the A26 Tonbridge Road, Maidstone. Picture: Dean Cheeseman
The sinkhole on the A26 Tonbridge Road, Maidstone. Picture: Dean Cheeseman

A diversion is in place between Hermitage Lane and London Road and vice versa - and is expected to cause heavy traffic.

Bus company Nu-Venture has warned of delays to its 88 service - which operates via Queens Road, between Maidstone West and Barming - and the 78 service which serves Queens Road.

Maidstone Hospital is near the site of the sinkhole, with its entrance about a mile away by road.

Andy Beston, operations manager for South East Water said the company was made aware people in Barming had no water at about 5am on Friday.

Technicians found a burst on a water main at the junction of Cherry Orchard Way and Tonbridge Road (A26).

A large sinkhole opened uo on the A26 Tonbridge Road, Maidstone. Picture: Hawkeye Aerial Media
A large sinkhole opened uo on the A26 Tonbridge Road, Maidstone. Picture: Hawkeye Aerial Media

Steve Benton, head of operations west at South East Water, said: "The road closure will remain in place over the coming days until we are able to safely repair the road surface.

"Due to a number of other utilities underground, we are waiting for confirmation that other companies’ apparatus are safe before we can proceed with the repair.

“We’re really sorry for the disruption caused but hope everyone understands the safety of the public and our workforce is our number one priority.

“Although we cannot give an exact date of when the road will be opened again, we hope repairs will begin early next week.

A Maidstone restaurant owner who lost £200,000 in revenue last time a huge sinkhole opened on his doorstep, fears for his business after this week's incident.

Kiron Haque, owner of Taj Barming, says diners cancelled their bookings on Friday night, thanks to a road closure bought on by a sinkhole opening on the A26 Tonbridge Road.

Read more: All the latest news from Maidstone

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