Unresolved Wokingham sinkhole leaves businesses 'in a cage'

In October, a tanker fell into a sink hole that opened up as it was carrying out repairs on a collapsed sewer on Evendons Lane. Credit: ITV Meridian

Struggling business owners in Wokingham are calling on Thames Water to fix a sinkhole that remains unresolved almost two months after a tanker fell into it.

Locals say that they desperately need a resolution, with the sinkhole dramatically reducing passing trade since it opened up on Evendons Lane on October 1.

Thames Water has apologised and said that work could continue into January.

However, Clive Jones, the leader of Wokingham Borough Council, has called on the company to consider compensating businesses affected by the disruption.

Businesses in Evendons Lane, Wokingham, have been hugely affected by the sinkhole

Hamza Boukrida owns a barber shop, which only opened in June.

He said: "I need to pay my rent. I need to pay my bills. All I'm thinking about now is the road.

"The next thing I need to learn is how to shop by helicopter. I feel like I'm in a cage."

Cafe owner Nic Lander added: "We're down about £5,000 already and there is no end in sight. All our staff are neurodivergent so anxiety is a massive thing...they need people coming in."

In a statement, a Thames Water spokesperson said: “On Thursday 24 November we are hosting a drop-in session for residents and local business owners, regarding the ongoing sewer repair work on Evendons Lane. At the session we will provide local people with an update on progress. They will also be able to raise any concerns they have.

“This is a complex job given the sandy ground conditions and recent heavy rain. Our teams remain on site seven days a week to progress the repair work. We would like to apologise to businesses, residents and motorists for any inconvenience caused during this time.” 

"We are aiming to complete the repair work by the end of December, but there could be some additional work in January given the complexities around this job.”

"Should residents experience any issues or have any questions, they can call our 24-hour customer contact line on 0800 3169800, quoting BB 233 957"