Street plunged back into chaos

The small hole that has re-appeared where the road collapsed earlier this year
The small hole that has re-appeared where the road collapsed earlier this year

A busy town centre street has been plunged into chaos again after another hole appeared in the road – just 11 months after it collapsed completely.

Businesses have once again been left in limbo after a hole appeared at the side of Hallgate, causing the footpath to be closed for maintenance work.

This is less than a year after a burst water main caused part of the pavement and road to fall several feet.

At the time, United Utilities and Wigan Council engineers worked to shore up the building but nearby stores were forced to close for seven days in the crucial period leading up to Christmas.

And part of the road was closed off to shoppers throughout the week due to safety concerns. This sparked fury between businesses on the street as they lost thousands in profits over the busy festive season.

Stores on the street were affected for months by the repairs and couldn’t see an end to the problem at the time.

Now, shop owners fear history may be repeating itself.

Owner of Select Cafe Howard Gallimore said: “It’s going to be a nightmare once again. I just really hope it doesn’t turn out as bad as last year and cause the whole of Hallgate to sink. It’s going to be really disruptive and I think they’re going to have to close half of the road.

“There’s also a really bad smell, it’s disgusting, there must be something seriously wrong. It looks as though it’s about to go, it’s just all filled with grey, dirty water. There’s obviously a problem underneath those cobbles.”

A spokesman from Wigan Council confirmed the incident.

They added: “The road hasn’t been completely closed – there has been a footpath closure put in place but there is still access to the street.”

A United Utilities spokeswoman added: “We are investigating a minor fault with a pipe in Hallgate Road, Wigan. The pipe has not burst and there has not been any flooding.

“We will be starting work on the pipe before the end of this week. We can assure people that this minor incident is not connected with the flooding in Hallgate Road last year.”