A 4FT-DEEP sinkhole opened on a residential road in Rodbourne forcing the council to close it to traffic until further notice.

The 1ft wide crater on Linslade Street is believed to have appeared yesterday morning.

Council workers barred the street to traffic later that day, placing cones and barriers around it.

Robert Gosling, partner at Ron’s Stores hardware shop, alerted the local authority after placing bin bags around the hole to ensure no one drove over or accidentally stepped into it.

“I reported it to the council and they turned up an hour-and-a-half later,” he said.

“We were just driving out to a delivery when we saw some people around the hole. We got out to have a look.

“I put some bin bags around it in case a car came down the road so people would not drive through. It’s blooming big but people might think it was water on the road from a distance.”

He said the road closure had been disastrous for business.

“As far as I am concerned business-wise, the afternoon was an utter waste of time,” he said.

“It’s the first time it has happened here. I am surprised the council didn’t put a big metal grid over it. It’s quite dangerous.”

Nick Edgell, who lives in Guppy Street, was stunned to see a sinkhole just metres from his home.

“I expect it happened because of the weather and all that rain,” he said. “It washed away the bedrock.

“That’s a bit of a worry. If you drove over this your car would be gone.”

A Swindon Council spokesman said a team was investigating.

“We took the decision to close Linslade Street at its junction with Guppy Street as the hole presents a danger to drivers and pedestrians. It could do some significant damage if someone was to drive over it.

“We don’t yet know what has caused it and we are sending a team out to investigate and we expect to know more later today.”

This is the second sinkhole to have opened up in Swindon this month.

A 6ft-wide and 7ft-deep hole appeared near a cycle path, off Dart Avenue, in the Sevenfields Nature Reserve on February 10.

Thames Water has instructed their waste team to visit and attempt to repair the earth.