Now thats what you call a pothole: Enormous gap opens in street after flood damages wreaks havoc in Britains streets


These potholes are getting out of hand: Enormous hole swallows car after winter wreaks havoc on Britain's roadsFirefighters arrived at the scene shortly after the rush-hour accident The road had to be closed so the car could be winched out with a cable

By
Emma Reynolds

PUBLISHED:

14:45 GMT, 30 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

02:26 GMT, 31 January 2013

Flooding, torrential rain and gales
have led to treacherous conditions on Britain’s roads. But that’s
nothing compared to what the driver of this car faced yesterday.

As she drove through what appeared to
be just a giant puddle, the vehicle suddenly nosedived into a large
hole that had opened up overnight.

The VW Polo came to an abrupt halt, its front wheels lodged in the opening to the 5ft-deep chasm, caused by a burst water main.

Sunk: The Volkswagen Polo collapsed into the Manchester road after it crumbled following heavy rainfall

Sunk: The Volkswagen Polo collapsed into the Manchester road after it crumbled following heavy rainfall

Police were called to the incident in
Whalley Range, Manchester, at 7.15am. The road was closed while fire
crews winched the car out. The driver walked away uninjured.

A witness said firefighters appeared reluctant to get too close to the vehicle in case more of the road collapsed.

They waited for equipment to arrive and then winched the car out at around 8.25am.

Bystander James Clarke said he was alarmed by what he had seen.

Unsteady: A group of firefighters look on as they wait for a cable to arrive to winch the car out of the ground

Unsteady: A group of firefighters look on as they wait for a cable to arrive to winch the car out of the ground

'I was just on the school run. That road's got a few places where repairs have been done and it looks like one of those patches caved in. Floods are very, very rare around here.'

Another onlooker said: ‘It was still dark as
the woman drove down the road, so she would have just seen this enormous
puddle and thought it would be okay to drive through. It must have come
as an awful shock.’

The accident follows a night of gale force winds and downpours around Britain after the Big Thaw followed the Big Freeze.

Heavy rain falling on melting ice and already saturated ground has now caused extreme flooding and travel disruption.

As well as bad weather motorists are facing a ‘pothole epidemic’, according to a study.

Potentially lethal holes are typically up to four inches deep – an inch deeper than two years ago, said website Potholes.co.uk.