Pothole the length of double decker bus emerges as seven-month flooding subsides

A huge pothole the size of a double decker bus has emerged after flood water lasting for months finally receded.

Residents of Charlton-All-Saints, Wiltshire, have been plagued with issues which meant they had to wear wellies to wade through the water. After seven months of the water problems it has finally now receded and revealed a massive 41ft long and seven foot pothole extending eight inches into the surface.

David Bennett, 76, who has lived in the area for a decade says the hole is making people’s lives a misery. He said: “We all knew there was a huge pothole there before but now you can see it. If you drive a small car through there, you will ground it. It's got to be one of the biggest around.

“When they use the cold tar it's not a permanent fix as they keep breaking up. Then the rain started and frost that followed. The hole stayed underwater for seven months.

pothole the length of double decker bus emerges as seven-month flooding subsides

Pothole

“Dog walkers, runners, cyclists would normally use that road to go to the bus but they couldn't use it. The loose stones are the size of the palm of your hand, so riding your bike through it is quite dangerous."

Residents have accused Wiltshire Council of carrying out slapdash repairs which has meant their nightmare has continued. The chocolate box village boasts thatched-roof cottages and properties dating back to the 17th century and has two parallel roads as entrance and exit points.

Vince Jenkins, 64, has lived on the corner of the road 11 years, but said he'd never seen anything as bad as this. He said: “A number of people have had their tyres wrecked and cars scraped. When it was covered in water, delivery drivers didn't know it was there.

"I'm amazed when they realised and tried to move to the other side, we haven't had a large vehicle gone too far to the right and disappear down the road, as there's a big ditch."

Mr Jenkins said he and other residents have had to warn guests about the huge hole to prevent extensive damage to their car. He added the village's traffic was now going up and down the other lane, which was putting stress on the road.

Wiltshire Council's Cabinet Member for Highways, Nick Holder, said teams are due to carry out temporary repairs. He said: “We have been aware of this issue, but as it has been under water for some time due to the unprecedented high groundwater levels, so unfortunately we have been unable to start any work to repair it. The water levels are a product of the number of storms and amount of rainfall experienced this winter.

"Unfortunately, the volume of water combined with the lack of a suitable point to pump the water to meant that it has not been possible. Water levels have now receded to a level that will enable works to be undertaken.

"Our teams are heading to Charlton-All-Saints to carry out some temporary repairs, and we will be arranging for a more permanent repair to take place as soon as it is possible. While other councils around the county are cutting budgets, we are investing millions into the everyday things that matter to people, such as filling potholes and resurfacing roads.

“On top of the tens of millions we already spend on these highways issues with Government grants. We have allocated an extra £10m over the next two years to spend on filling potholes and a road resurfacing programme will help to prevent potholes and other highways defects across all areas of the county."

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