A meeting was held today in Tilehurst due to a road that has remained closed for nearly five months after a sinkhole opened up.

The sinkhole caused a collapse in Oak Tree Road that meant the street had to be closed off near its junction with Chepstow Road, Armour Hill and Westwood Road.

In the public meeting many of the local residents aired their frustration with the team in charge of dealing with the sinkhole.

A good deal of neighbours expressed how it is affecting people both up and down the road.

The term consultants from Stantec said that the sinkhole appeared due to the naturally occurring geological feature of chalk in the area.

A member of the team said he had been filling sinkholes for 25 years and that chalk is almost always the reason for them appearing around Reading.

He also said that this was due to a natural abundance of chalk instead of a man-made chalk mine.

Although neighbours are able to enter and exit their homes, drivers are unable to pass through the obstruction to make onward journeys further into Tilehurst.

The sinkhole appeared on Wednesday, August 23, 2023. According to roadworks site One.Network, the closure will remain in place until Friday, March 1.

One member of the public asked the team when they thought the road would be reopened, to which one responded that was “a dangerous question.”

He then explained that they hoped to be finished in three months, but if acquiring materials took longer than expected it could end up being six months.

Another resident said that he wanted it in writing that there would be no damage to local properties and asked if there was liability for that.

A member of the team said that if something happened that was not foreseen the residents of those properties would be covered.

Councillor Mark Keeping said “I’m disappointed that it has taken this long but that is ultimately due to contract issues.

“We can't be too precise but we are hoping that we might see a resolution in three months.”

Local resident Chris said that he and other neighbours have found the whole ordeal very annoying.

“It’s a real pain,” he said. “It’s just really inconvenient. I guess the only upside is that it’s reduced the traffic a bit.”

Two residents who live very close to the sinkhole Tim and Ian also agreed that the whole situation has been a “real pain.”

“It’s been a lot of disturbance over the last five months,” Ian said. “We just really want it done now. There’s been such a lack of communication, this is the first time.”