After another road collapse, is Sheffield being swallowed up by sinkholes?

The opening of another hole in Sheffield's roads has sparked fears that the city is slowly falling into the ground.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 17th January 2017, 10:04 am
Updated Tuesday, 17th January 2017, 10:11 am
The hole that opened up in Foolow.
The hole that opened up in Foolow.

A large sinkhole opened up outside the Decathlon store in the city centre last night.

The crater, which appears to be above an underground stream, is understood to have opened up around teatime.

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Huge sinkhole appears outside Decathlon store in Sheffield

A hole spewing steam opened up in Pond Street near Sheffield Interchange last May with traffic being diverted around the crack and the rupture coned off.

And that came just weeks after a massive 8ft hole opened up in Hutcliffe Wood Road, Millhouses after the road collapsed.

That incident, on April 24, was blamed by locals on old mine workings and contractors later moved in to begin the task of filling the gaping hole with concrete.

And there have been other collapses and mystery holes forming across Sheffield in recent years.

In March 2014, people were left puzzled when a gaping hole opened up in The University of Sheffield Arts Tower car park.

Steam started to escape from the hole when a water main owned by Veolia, and which runs underneath the car park, failed.

And later the same year, tram users faced disruption after a mysterious hole led to services being suspended.

Engineers were called to the scene on top of Park Square roundabout after a hole opened up on an embankment next to tram tracks. The blue and purple routes were suspended between Sheffield railway station and the city centre following the collapse.

One of the biggest collapses in the region in recent times was in 2013 when torrential rain over Christmas created a 130ft deep and 160ft wide crater in the Peak District.

The hole, part of the Nether Slaters Mine in Foolow, caved in after water eroded the earth underneath, causing the whole area to collapse. That hole was believed to have been caused by the collapse of an old lead mine in the area.

In the summer of 2014, youngster Daisy Mae-Jones had a lucky escape when a massive hole opened up a field near her home.

Daisy-Mae, then seven, miraculously walked away with just cuts and bruises after falling 25ft down the hole while playing with friends on Bentinck Road, Shuttlewood.

Describing the horrifying ordeal, mum, Janine Jones, said: "When we found her she was crying and covered head to toe in clay and mud. It was terrible.”

Neighbouring builder, Gary Barson, was alerted to the rescue and took his ladders to the hole so Daisy-Mae could climb out.

He said: “She was hysterical. This hole was about 3ft by 4ft and at least 25ft deep. It is amazing she didn’t get more seriously hurt.”

But for most Sheffielders, there's only one Hole In The Road and that's the much loved and fondly remembered landmark which stood in the centre of the city for nearly three decades.

The underground network of pedestrian walkways built around Castle Square featured, as its centrepiece, the unmistakable Hole In The Road.

In 1967, many of the old streets were cleared to make way for the new Arundel Gate dual carriageway - and the Hole In The Road was born.

For years, the landmark - an open underground pedestrian walkway beneath a roundabout - was a striking, modern, even cool, design which set Sheffield apart from other city centres.

But the underpass eventually became home to graffiti, vandalism and crime and in 1995 it was filled in to make way for the Supertram.