Sinkhole, gas leak and roadworks causing disruption on Kirkgate, leaving Newark businesses frustrated

Shopkeepers on a busy city center street have been frustrated by delays in repairing a road, which they say is costing them business.

Potholes and roadworks again cause havoc in Newark after a hole on Kirkgate turns into a sinkhole and eventually leads to a gas leak.

Businesses in Kirkgate open as usual despite partial road closure (59080545)

David Moore, owner of the Newark Art Gallery on Kirkgate, said: “The problems really started with the sinkhole, which I would say was two or three feet deep.

“We tried to report it because if it wasn’t sorted there would be an accident.

“They arrived and fixed the hole after a few days, but in the process a gas leak occurred.

“The whole street ended up smelling of gasoline, so the gas men came to investigate with a suction shovel to suck the hole all the way down to try and find out why it kept collapsing.

“The main issue for us is loss of business and although a sign now says business is open as usual we can stay here and watch people come from Morrisons and instead continue here until the market, they come to the end of the road and turn right instead.

“We took a few people up and down but the street is dead and especially when all the machines start working people just don’t want to know.

“We had days of massive machines on and off, digging into the concrete and fixing the gas leak, they even had a camera in the manhole checking the pipes to see if any had given way.

Businesses in Kirkgate open as usual despite partial road closure (59080566)
Businesses in Kirkgate open as usual despite partial road closure (59080566)

“It’s going to take three weeks now. It happens all the time in Kirkgate, the whole road is notorious for sinkholes and you can see where they fixed them all the way down the street,” David said.

David Moore of the Newark Art Gallery (59080548)
David Moore of the Newark Art Gallery (59080548)

“It’s probably about five meters deep now, which is pretty impressive. But I just want them to clear it, do it.

“I understand if the whole road needs to be lifted and redone, but keep going so we can get back to business.”

Kirkgate Roadworks (59080542)
Kirkgate Roadworks (59080542)

After the hole was initially repaired, alarm bells went off when gas began to leak into a nearby building.

Sophie Green, from Bird and Co Solicitors, said: ‘We came into work one day and I thought ‘what’s that smell? “.

“At first we thought it might just be a sewage smell coming from the sewers outside, but when we followed him down to the basement and opened the door, we were hit by a smell. overwhelming gas.

“By then other businesses had noticed it too and the police were called. The whole street ended up being evacuated while they sorted out the problem, but that meant a whole day of canceled appointments. for us and lost exchanges for retail stores next door.”

Bird & Co Solititors, a business affected on Kirkgate (59080560)
Bird & Co Solititors, a business affected on Kirkgate (59080560)

Concerned about the impact of roadworks on business, Chris Wright, manager of Osborne’s Stationers, said: “It’s been going on for several weeks now and to be honest from a business perspective, because it’s still not not settled, we would rather they waited an extra week out of two.

“Because as papermakers these first weeks of September are our busiest times of trading with the kids going back to school and if the council starts bringing the big machines back it will mean no one will be able to come down here at all .

Osborne Stationers, a business affected on Kirkgate (59080554)
Osborne Stationers, a business affected on Kirkgate (59080554)

“At least right now it’s inconvenient, but the street is only partially closed and people can still walk here.”

Nottinghamshire County Council has been approached for comment.



Christopher S. Washington