A MAJOR Radcliffe road has been closed after a huge sinkhole opened up, exposing a sewage main.

Bury Council’s highways team was called out to Outwood Road to an indentation which had developed in the carriageway surface.

However, after safety measures were put in place, the problem continued to deteriorate and a whole section of the road surface fell away into a gaping sinkhole.

The collapsed tarmac also exposed a broken sewage pipe.

Cllr Mike Smith said he reported the issue after being contacted by residents concerned about a “slight dip in the road”. He added: “Highways teams came out and placed barriers and traffic warnings on the road that same day. It was put on a priority list for dig down and investigation.

“On Monday I went to inspect it again. At the site I found the problem getting worse and bringing the safety of the public into doubt.

“I arranged the barriers to cover the side of the road in danger of collapse.

“I called the emergency council number and explained the road needed shutting as a matter of urgency due to risk of collapse.

“The council response was swift and immediate. Within 10 minutes two police crews arrived and closed the road in both directions to traffic.”

Investigations into the cause of the road’s collapse are now under way, a spokesman for United Utilities, which manages the borough’s water supply, said.

Work will now be carried out to dig down to find the problem’s cause.

Outwood Road has since been closed and a diversion is in place.

Cllr Smith said: “I cannot praise highly enough the response and conduct of both the emergency operator and the police teams.