Britain set for 'ongoing' sinkholes

Britain set for 'ongoing' sinkholes

A leading geology expert has warned that Britain is likely to see an increase in sinkholes as an "ongoing feature of the landscape".

The warning comes following a spate of sinkholes popping up all over the country, including an incident earlier this month when a teenager's car was swallowed by a 30ft deep crater that appeared on the family's driveway in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire.

On Tuesday a 5ft wide hole opened up beneath a 100-year-old detached house in Ripon, North Yorkshire and last week a stretch of the M2 in north Kent was closed following the discovery of a 15ft deep hole in the central reservation.

Sinkholes can be caused by a number of different factors - both natural and man-made - such as heavy rain, surface flooding, leaking drainage pipes, burst water mains, irrigation or emptying a swimming pool.

"The ground is saturated at the moment, in certain parts of the country, and where it's saturated, it will remain saturated for some weeks, if not months," Vanessa Banks, from the British Geological Survey, said.

"And gradually the situation will improve, but in the short term I suspect there will be more of these incidents being reported."

Copyright Press Association 2014