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Residents speak out after sink hole closes Corporation Road, Gillingham

Residents have spoken out about the moment they discovered a sinkhole had opened up under their neighbour's car.

Part of Corporation Road, Gillingham, has been closed since Friday causing disruption to those who live there.

KMTV report on the Gillingham sink hole

Kevin Harvey, who has lived on the road for 50 years, said: “When I tried to get into the road on Friday to park outside my house, I was told to find elsewhere to park. It wasn’t until I walked up the road and saw everyone out there seeing the car stuck over a big hole, yeah it did come as a bit of a shock.

Another resident, Stephen Murphy, was one of the first to report the sinkhole.

He said: “My son came round for some lunch and he said there’s a big hole down the road and there’s a car over it, does anybody know about it.

“I went down and had a look and we got some barriers, put them around the car so at least people wouldn’t drive to close to it and then I called the gas people but because there was a gas main underneath the vehicle it was potential danger to not only the residents but to the gas company as well.”

Corporation Road, Gillingham. Picture: Graham Buckley
Corporation Road, Gillingham. Picture: Graham Buckley

The cause of the sinkhole, which is about a metre wide, is yet to be determined.

But it’s viewed by residents as another disturbance on their road after months of work by SGN who have been improving the gas network in the area since July as part of a £244,000 upgrade.

Mr Harvey said: “It’s caused lots of disruption. This road, if you get one car coming up the road and another coming down you’ve got a stalemate."

He added: “No one will move, they can’t move anywhere and the one that’s coming up doesn’t want to reverse down onto a dual carriageway and the other one doesn’t want to reverse all the way back up the road.”

Mr Murphy said: “It can happen anywhere, we have sinkholes nowadays. It might not have anything to do with the gas company at all, it might be just a genuine sinkhole.

The sink hole under Graham Buckley's car in Corporation Road, Gillingham. Picture: Graham Buckley
The sink hole under Graham Buckley's car in Corporation Road, Gillingham. Picture: Graham Buckley

“Them guys work in all weathers, they’re doing a good job as far as I’m concerned and if it causes anybody any stress then they’ve just got to put up with it until the job's done.”

But residents say they have no idea when the road will be reopened.

Mr Harvey said: "The information I have was they were going to test the places where they’ve filled in to see if it’s been sinking anywhere else but there doesn’t seem to have been a lot done since they’ve been looking at the hole, the only thing I’ve noticed this morning is that one of the barriers has been moved forward."

In a statement, a spokesman from SGN said: “We’ve been carrying out gas network upgrades in Corporation Road, but have now handed our site over so they can investigate the sinkhole which has emerged in the road."

Meanwhile Medway Council said they would be repairing the road as quickly as possible.

In 2014 massive disruption was caused when a 15ft sink hole opened up in the central reservation of the M2, while last year a road in Maidstone was closed for five months after the carriageway gave way.

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