December 26, 2022 2.00 pm This story is over 16 months old

Flashback 2022: Three year sinkhole saga comes to a head

It wasn’t a smooth ride for frustrated residents

Anglian Water found itself in hot water this year as a three-year sinkhole saga came to a head, alongside a hefty price tag of over £460k.

Boston Road South in Holbeach was repeatedly shut as authorities spent hundreds of thousands of pounds to fix the problems.

Residents had experienced a “complete nightmare” with roadworks since 2019, with one reporting that subsequent works had blown out their toilet on multiple occasions.

There was a renewed call for something to be done in June after sources reported a new pipeline had been sheared within days of being installed.

The water company initially downplayed the problem saying there had been “no issues” with the pipe itself, but added that relining was a “complicated process”.

However, a Freedom Of Information request by The Lincolnite in August revealed how engineers described it as a “disaster” as one of the circulation hoses had “blown away from its connecting coupler”.

Frustrations between the two authorities were also revealed with one LCC representative saying the press would “start to think we’re playing them for fools” and one Anglian Waer employee saying “LCC has lost trust in us”.

Ken Coates and other residents said the works had been a “nightmare”. | Photo: Daniel Jaines

A total of £462,296 had been spent up to that point on various investigations and works to fix the persistent sinkhole, of which £117,958 came from Lincolnshire County Council, and the rest from Anglian Water.

The issue resulted in a public meeting taking place at Holbeach Methodist Church in August with Sir John Hayes telling those attending that it was “not acceptable”.

Anglian Water apologised for not communicating better, and claimed that they had been working closely with the council to fix the problems.

Problems had persisted on Boston Road South for years | Photo: The Lincolnite

Lincolnshire County Council was finally able to move in to start rebuilding the road on August 14 and it was re-opened on August 24.

It would close again a month later due to a burst water main, however, this issue appeared to be short lived.

This wasn’t the only issue Anglian Water was in trouble with.

Figures released by Lincolnshire County Council later in the year revealed it had fined the water company £168,850 for 571 days of rogue signage and overrunning highways works in 2021-22.

The company made up a third of all fines.

Residents will be hoping things will flow more smoothly next year.

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