Gallagher Retail Park in Ashford hit by ‘nasty’ pothole after flooding

Drivers are being urged to take extra care in a flood-hit car park after a huge six-inch pothole opened up.

The “nasty tire-buster” has appeared on Gallagher Retail Park in Ashford – home to four stores including Halfords.

Motorist Sue Brown, who has lived in the town for more than 50 years, noticed the hole earlier this week.

“If you stepped in it or cycled over it, you’re going to break bones,” she said.

“It’s really nasty, much worse than your average pothole.

“You’d lose your tire if you went over it, especially when this car park floods and you can’t see it.

“I purposely drove the wrong way out of the car park to avoid it.”

The Gallagher Retail Park car park was flooded after heavy rain last week. Picture: Roxy Tuohy

Mrs Brown, manager of the London Beach Hotel in St Michaels near Tenterden, thinks the hole has emerged as the spot has been dug up for previous repairs.

It is blocking the retail park’s exit point which leads to Norman Road.

“You can see they dug a trench and replaced it with tarmac and the hole which happened is at the end of that repair, and that is how potholes happen,” she said.

“The seam has collapsed in. That’s always the weakest point of any road surface and that’s exactly what happened here.

“We’ve had a lot of water – just last week this car park was full of water. The water goes into the ground, weakens it and you get potholes, and can get sinkholes.

The pothole has opened up at the retail park's exit point
The pothole has opened up at the retail park’s exit point
The damage to the car park
The damage to the car park
A disused sign has been used to cover the hole
A disused sign has been used to cover the hole

“I know the retail park is built on a flood plain. So with all the rain we’ve had recently I know that the ground moves and sections wash away beneath our feet.

“It’s only a matter of time before the hole collapses in.”

A disused sign has been used to cover the hole so people don’t drive directly over it.

“I took a photo of the hole and put it on Facebook to warn others,” Mrs Brown said.

“I was stunned at how many people said they had damaged their cars on the pothole – and they were saying it has been here since the summer.

Sue Brown says people could break bones if they fall down the pothole on Gallagher Retail Park
Sue Brown says people could break bones if they fall down the pothole on Gallagher Retail Park
The pothole is thought to be six inches deep
The pothole is thought to be six inches deep
The car park at Ashford's B&Q, which sits opposite Gallagher Retail Park, was flooded last week
The car park at Ashford’s B&Q, which sits opposite Gallagher Retail Park, was flooded last week

“It is about six inches deep and it’s only going to get worse until it gets filled in and a proper job done on it.”

The owners of the car park have been contacted for comment.

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