Council bosses are investigating a mysterious hole that has opened up in a back lane off a major Sunderland road.
The one square metre hole, to the rear of Chester Road near Sunderland Royal Hospital, was first reported to Sunderland City Council on Thursday.
Sunderland City Council is looking into whether the depression is a sinkhole – caused by a collapse of the road surface.
Sinkholes are usually formed as a result of the natural process of erosion.
However, in urban areas, they most commonly occur due to water main or sewer collapses, when old pipes give way. They can also occur following heavy rain and flooding.
Now the council’s highways team have made the road safe and will carry out a repair as soon as the cause of the collapse is known.
Further investigations into its cause are underway and once these are determined a permanent repair will be carried outCoun Michael Mordey
Coun Michael Mordey, Portfolio Holder for City Services, said: “This area of local road failure was reported to the council on Thursday, July 21, and our highway team has made the area safe for road users.
“Further investigations into its cause are underway and once these are determined a permanent repair will be carried out.”
Coun Mordey asked residents to be vigilant and report similar issues to the council, so that it can act in order to prevent an accident.
He added: “We are always pleased when vigilant members of the public report incidents such as this because if left unattended they can cause serious problems for both traffic and pedestrians.”
Members of the public can report highways problems by calling 520 5550.