The Greater Manchester road where giant sinkholes keep opening up with fed up residents demanding answers

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The most recent collapse on Heywood Road in Prestwich happened on July 17.

A road where gaping sink-holes have repeatedly appeared is to be the subject of an underground survey after worried residents called for action.

The most recent collapse on Heywood Road in Prestwich happened on July 17 after heavy rain when a sewer collapsed. It created a crater at least six metres wide. It’s not the first time Heywood Road has been hit by the issue.

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A similar huge sink-hole opened up on the same road in October 2016. At that time, some Heywood Road residents said the route was used as a rat run for motorists, including heavy goods vehicles, travelling along Bury Old Road.

More recently, smaller sink-holes have been reported near the junction with Bury Old Road. In August 2021, such a road failure caused the closure of the Heywood Road-Bury New Road junction for two days.

The stretch of Heywood Road in Prestwich most recently impacted by the sinkholeThe stretch of Heywood Road in Prestwich most recently impacted by the sinkhole
The stretch of Heywood Road in Prestwich most recently impacted by the sinkhole

At a meeting of Bury Council, Holyrood councillor Imran Rizvi brought up the issue. He said: “The leader will know from his attendance at the Heywood Road residents’ group meeting that the sink-hole on on the road over this summer has caused great concern. Can I ask for an update on the actions around this issue are shared as soon as possible?”

Council leader Eamonn O’Brien, said: “Attending the meeting is was very clear that what the residents were saying that it was not just a one-off concern it was an issue over multiple years.

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“Understandably, they are worried about it. We will be doing geo-technical survey work so we can truly understand what, if anything, underneath Heywood Road may be contributing to repeats of these issues. We’ve just about found the funding for this and the council has now got to go out and do the tender and agree a timetable. We will obviously try to do that as quickly as we can.

“We are waiting on United Utilities, as it was their sewer that collapsed which clearly contributed to the sink hole. We want to understand their view on what may be causing these repeat issues.

“We were asked by residents to look at options on re-designating the road, speed and weight restrictions and such like. That is perhaps not so easy as it requires us to look at what such restrictions would mean for vehicles like bin lorries, buses and emergency vehicles.

“We already think there is a low impact in this area because of the low bridge further down Heywood Road. We will look at options on the back of the geo-survey and United Utilities investigation. Until we have that information I’m not able to commit to anything.”

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