Selly Sinkhole: Repair Works Begin | Redbrick | University of Birmingham

Selly Sinkhole: Repair Works Begin

Erin Mannion reports on the Selly Oak sinkhole on Harborne Lane that is set to be repaired soon

In late November 2016 disaster struck on Harborne Lane at around 12.00 pm after an underground water pipe burst, resulting in masses of water streaming down the main road and flooding the nearby streets.

After approximately ten houses were left flooded and a number of cars damaged, a sinkhole opened up underneath Harborne Lane Island, near Queen Elizabeth Hospital, leaving Severn Trent Water under pressure to resolve the problem.

Harborne Lane was closed off and traffic was redirected around the area.

After investigation, it was revealed by CCTV camera footage that the broken pipe did not burst underneath the sinkhole on Harborne Lane Island but underneath an area of grass nearby to the roundabout.

Severn Water Trent said that they have carried out over 500 checks to ensure there are no further problems in the future, yet this has caused delays in resolving the issue.

Two months after the incident repair work has now begun, yet will not be completed for several weeks, resulting in one side of Harborne lane - from the Shell petrol station to the newly established roundabout at the A38 junction - remaining closed off.

The aim is to firstly repair the burst water pipe - whilst also successfully maintaining the water supply across Birmingham – by around mid-February. After this is complete, Severn Trent aim to repair, and reopen, Harborne lane around the end of February.

Paul Baldwyn, the areas operations manager, told the BBC, that he was sorry for the inconvenience that had been caused, acknowledging that it is a long process. However, he gave a reassuring word that Severn Trent have been working hard, and putting a lot of hours in to repair the pipe, and reopen Harborne Lane.



10th February 2017 at 10:00 am

Last Updated

10th February 2017 at 12:16 am

Images from

@Snappersk for West Midlands Fire Service