Update on Gorleston High Street hole: Roads to reopen but more work to come

Gorleston High Street closed to all traffic after a hole appeared in the road on Friday afternoon.

Gorleston High Street closed to all traffic after a hole appeared in the road on Friday afternoon. The scene on Monday afternoon. Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2013

Gorleston High Street should reopen tomorrow, six days after a hole opened in the road surface.

Norfolk County Council has now finished investigations into what caused a cavern under the road surface. The cavity was discovered last Friday when a hole opened in the road outside QD Stores, a few hours after a woman tripped and fell on the road's uneven surface.

The council's highways department believes the root cause to be 'localised sub-soil condition' - the loose sandy soil under the road surface, made worse by rats tunnelling. No leaks or problems with underground utility pipes were found.

A county council spokesman has now confirmed that High Street should reopen to all traffic by tomorrow lunchtime. She said High Road, where a second hole appeared on Tuesday near the junction of Burnt Lane, is opened to one lane of traffic, excluding large goods vehicles and buses.

It will be closed off on Monday when works to investigate that cavern begin. She said they hope to complete work on the second hole by Wednesday.

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Great Yarmouth MP Brandon Lewis, whose offices are in Gorleston, said the initial delay - exploratory work did not start until Tuesday - caused unnecessary problems for local businesses and was 'disgraceful'. He said he has now delivered leaflets to High Street stores to update them on the situation.

County councillor Matthew Smith, for the Gorleston St Andrews division, said: 'The high street has suffered in just a few days and this should be given top priority by the county.

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'Myself and councillor Alan Grey will be chasing up the issue on a frequent basis, not just on repairs but on the cause and preventing something similar happening in the future.'

Mr Smith is also looking into whether those affected could receive some business rate relief.

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