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Sandgate Road: sewer collapse confirmed and full repairs now needed

September 11, 2008 4:58 PM
Originally published by Folkestone and Hythe Liberal Democrats

Road closed signs and barriersFears that Sandgate Road in Folkestone was suffering from serious sewer collapse have been confirmed by Kent Highways Services in a response to enquiries by Folkestone Councillor Tim Prater.

The road between Earls Avenue & Castle Hill Avenue was inspected some time ago with a suspected collapsed sewer, and Southern Water have now confirmed the verdict. Major works will now be required to repair the sewer, and the road will remain closed until the end of those repairs.

The full response from Kent Highways Services said:

"Closure of Sandgate Road, Folkestone: the road has been closed for the safety of the general public. Kent Highway Services inspectors originally reported defects on Sandgate Road, based on a suspect sewer collapse. Upon further investigation and inspections by Southern Water, the original suspicion of a collapsed sewer was confirmed.

"The road has been closed for safety reasons, particularly the threat posed to the road by large, heavy vehicles. The road will remain closed until the full repairs are made to the sewer.

"Funds for a scheme to rehabilitate sewers were agreed on Monday 18th August. Work is expected to start the latter end of September. We are attending a meeting with contractors next week to ensure the appropriate traffic management."

Lib Dem Councillor Tim Prater commented:

"Neither Southern Water or Kent Highways appear to have been rushing to get this repair underway. Sandgate Road has been closed off and on since late 2008, and we now find it certainly won't be until the end of this month before real repair works even start.

"One really worrying aspect of this is that the road was at least partially reopened to traffic a few months ago. If the road was closed for the safety of the general public, why was traffic allowed through before repairs had taken place?

"Some people have claimed the sewer problems in Sandgate Road extend down almost as far as the pedestrianised shopping centre area: if that is the case, are the sewers to be replaced there too, and is the road currently safe?"

"I hope Kent Highways and Southern Water will now be up front on how severe these problems are, over what area sewers need replacing and how long this work is likely to take."