Hole in road is growing say residents

By Martin Neville

Thursday, January 27, 2011


Hole in road is growing say residents

The 'geological vent' in Ocean View Road, Upper Ventnor. Picture by Robin Crossley.

THE 'geological vent’ that has opened up in Upper Ventnor has grown larger, according to residents.

A meeting with contractors was due to take place on site in Ocean View Road on Wednesday to finalise a scheme to cap it with a reinforced concrete slab.

The County Press reported last week residents were alarmed to find a large void had opened up in their road.

This week they said it had grown by around 50 per cent, swallowing kerb stones and undermining the road.

One concerned resident, who said he informed the Isle of Wight Council about it three weeks ago, said: "It is undercutting the road. A heavy vehicle will go through sooner or later."

He said the hole first appeared last year and was filled only to re-appear three months later.

The area from Bonchurch to Blackgang, including Ventnor, is known as the Undercliff and ground movement and land-sliding have been recognised as a problem there for at least 200 years.

Peter Marsden, principal coastal engineer, said: "The geology consists of chalk overlying upper greensand, gault clay and then various sandstones.

"Gradual movement within the upper greensand blocks along fault lines or joints can lead to the formation of fissures (or vents), as well as tension cracks and gradual subsidence.

"Even though the vent has just appeared, it may have been formed in the distant past."

Barriers have been erected around the hole and traffic limited to one way at a time.

Reporter: martinn@iwcpmail.co.uk

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