Warning to walkers and cyclists after deep hole appears under cycle path

PUBLISHED: 10:42 10 May 2018 | UPDATED: 15:00 11 May 2018

A deep hole has appeared under a cycle path near Budleigh. Pictures by James Kurn.

A deep hole has appeared under a cycle path near Budleigh. Pictures by James Kurn.

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Sinkhole fears have been sparked after a deep, cavernous opening appeared under one of Budleigh’s cycle paths.

A deep hole has appeared, on a cycle path, near Bear Lane. Picture by James Kurn.A deep hole has appeared, on a cycle path, near Bear Lane. Picture by James Kurn.

Ian Humphries, from Budleigh Salterton, recently took to social media, to warn others of what he described as a very deep ‘sinkhole’, near Bear Lane.

Devon County Council has not yet confirmed whether the hole can be classed technically as a sinkhole, but said its highways teams are dealing with it.

Ian’s post, on May 7, explained the hole was ‘about a foot wide’ and was so deep he was unable to see the bottom.

Talking to the Journal, on Wednesday, Ian said: “It’s only about a foot wide, but look inside and it goes another two feet (wider). I can’t see the bottom, but it seems to go under the grass verge.”

A deep hole has appeared under a Budleigh cycle path. Picture by James Kurn.A deep hole has appeared under a Budleigh cycle path. Picture by James Kurn.

Ian first spotted the hole two weeks previously and said he ‘thought nothing of it’, as it was so small.

But he felt compelled to warn others after seeing how much bigger it had become in just a couple of weeks; looking down it, Ian said it appeared to be at least five feet deep.

He added: “I don’t know how much more will give way, but the thing is, it’s quite a narrow path - if more collapses I dread to think what would happen.

“If it was at night, someone could go straight down it - or a dog could go down it.”

A deep hole has appeared under a Budleigh cycle path. Picture by James Kurn.A deep hole has appeared under a Budleigh cycle path. Picture by James Kurn.

Ian reported the hole to Devon County Council, via their website, last week and he feels more could be done in general to maintain the path.

He said: “They seem to be a bit slow on the uptake. The cycle path in Budleigh is very rough - it feels like a cobbled surface, especially at the Littleham end.

“I have gone through a couple of tyres! It could do with a good tarmac.”

A Devon County Council spokesman told the Journal: “Our highways teams have been asked to make the area safe and we’ll then investigate the cause before carrying out a repair.”

A deep hole has appeared, on a cycle path, near Bear Lane. Picture by James Kurn.A deep hole has appeared, on a cycle path, near Bear Lane. Picture by James Kurn.

The definition of a sinkhole, according to the Cambridge dictionary, is ‘a large hole that suddenly appears in the ground when the surface of the ground is no longer supported’.

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