Update: Hogg Lane could be closed for weeks says Thurrock Council

Update: 1500 hrs…May 28th

Twenty-four hours after a deep hole appeared in Hogg Lane, Grays, Thurrock Council has had experts on scene today (28 May) examining the situation and advising on possible solutions.

It would appear a 100-year-old tunnel below the road – linking Titan pit with what is now Badgers Dene, has collapsed, but more work needs to be done to discover whether the tunnel collapse was triggered by the road issue, or vice versa. The council has also been in contact with the tunnel owners.

In addition National Grid has examined two gas pipelines close to the collapsed road and is taking action to ensure there is no danger from leaks.

Further scrutiny of the area around and below the road will be taking place today and tomorrow and until the council is assured it is safe to do so, the road will remain closed to both traffic and pedestrians.

However the exclusion zone has been reduced to the south (Grays town) and businesses in Hogg Lane can be reached from that direction.

The council has also been talking with local businesses. Grays town centre stores and the shopping centre have confirmed it is business as usual and those in Hogg Lane itself are doing their best to work around the problems.

Further updates will be issued as more information becomes available, but Hogg Lane is expected to remain closed for some time.

At last evening’s annual council meeting, Council Leader, Cllr John Kent, said: “We have acted quickly and efficiently with our colleagues in the emergency services. The road is closed – to pedestrians as well as vehicles – the 66 bus route has been changed and a traffic diversion has been put in place via Devonshire Road and London Road.

“The 66 bus from Tilbury and Chadwell will now terminate at Grays, but passengers will still be able to buy tickets to Lakeside and use their ticket to continue their journey on the 33, 73 or 83 without incurring further cost.

“We have also suspended the bus gate in London Road to make it easier for lorries to use the route while the closure is in force.

“I think most of us will accept there is no instant solution and it could well be some weeks or even longer before we get back to normal.

“However I can say that we will be examining the boundaries of the exclusion zone to try and ensure businesses in the area will suffer as little as possible and we will also be looking at what other ways we can support them.

“I can also assure members that we will be keeping everybody in the loop about the situation as it continues with regular updates both online and statements to the media.”

Update: 2200 hrs

IN A speech at the opening of the new civic year at Thurrock Council, cllr John Kent informed the councillors that Hogg Lane could be close for weeks or "longer".

Here is the speech in full.

Update: 1645 hrs

Following today’s sudden appearance of a sinkhole in Hogg Lane, Grays, just to the north of the private road to Titan Works, Hogg Lane has been closed.

Diversions are in place via Devonshire Road and London Road.

The road will remain closed while the causes of the incident are analysed and repairs are made. This is likely to take some time – a matter of weeks.

The exclusion zone – for pedestrians as well as vehicles – runs south of the Devonshire Road roundabout to the south the private road. The zone may be modified once the situation becomes clear and stable.

The diversion is also likely to impact on bus services and bus companies should be contacted. The only bus route using Hogg Lane is the 66 ( or telephone 01708 865656).

Update: 1500 hrs

Hogg Lane in Grays blocked at the A1012 Elizabeth Road junction, because of sink hole in the road. Diversion in operation – for Ensignbus route 66 via Devonshire Road.

Update 14:30hrs:

Crews are standing by awaiting the arrival of the gas board. Firefighters report that the hole has exposed two gas pipes on either side of the road. There is a slight smell of gas in the area.

Update: 1410 hrs

Statement from Essex Fire and Rescue

Firefighters are dealing with an incident which has left a lorry straddling a sink hole over a gas main. No one is trapped in the lorry but crews have reported a smell of gas in the area. Crews have established a 200 metre hazard zone around the hole.

The hole opened up in the road as the lorry was travelling along it.

Update13:40hrs: Crews are waiting for the arrival of the gas company.

Update: 1400 hrs

TRAFFIC is being diverted away from Hogg Lane in Grays today following the opening up of a sinkhole in the road this morning.

Emergency services and Thurrock Council staff are on the site and the council is investigating the situation and ensuring it is made safe as quickly as possible.

In the meanwhile, traffic is being diverted along Devonshire Road.

Update: 1300 hr

Hogg Lane in Grays blocked at the A1012 Elizabeth Road junction, because of sink hole in the road.

1250 hrs

M25 Kent – Queuing traffic on M25 anticlockwise at A282 Dartford Tunnel, because of an accident involving a few cars earlier on.

All lanes have been re-opened. Congestion to J3, M20 (Swanley Interchange).

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