A MASSIVE hole is wreaking traffic chaos in Shrewsbury.

Investigations are ongoing after the sudden collapse of the pavement at one of the busiest routes into the town.

The collapse happened at the Hazeldine Way exit of the Meole Brace roundabout, which links Shrewsbury to the A49 south.

Investigators now believe it was caused by a disused well concealed beneath the carriageway.

Hazeldine Way leads off the roundabout on to Shrewsbury’s ring road and is used to get to Old Potts Way, a major bus route accessing the town from the west.

On Saturday police were told that a section of pavement by the pedestrian crossing on the exit had collapsed, revealing a large and dangerous space beneath.

The road was closed and investigations and repairs continue.

A Shropshire Council spokesman said: “Results so far indicate the problem is with an historic well at this location but beneath the road surface.

“A large void has formed beneath the carriageway and the road has been closed for safety reasons.

“There are complications with an exposed utility plant, which will need making safe before a full repair can be made.”

At first it was thought a burst sewer pipe had created the void under the road.

But Severn Trent Water has said the problem was not caused by any of its pipe network.

Mike Byrne, head of history at Shrewsbury Sixth Form College, said a well was more likely than a collapsed mineshaft.

He said: “From what I remember, I wouldn’t have thought there would be any deep mining going on so close to town.

“I don’t know of any wells specifically in that area, but Meole Brace was one of the ancient parishes of Shrewsbury, separate from the main town.

“Being removed from the conurbation, they would want their own well.

“They used wells to supply clean water to the town in the 19th century, so there definitely were wells around.”

Hazeldine Way is expected to remain closed in the eastbound direction for a number of days.

The road is still open to westbound traffic from Pritchard Way going on to the roundabout.

Traffic has been diverted the next exit of Meole roundabout, along Oteley Road and Thieves Lane to Emstrey Island, then via Wenlock Road to the Column, and then
down Haycock Way to Pritchard Way.

The Meole Brace park and ride service will also be diverted.

A spokesman for operator Arriva said stops would be missed at Asda, the English Bridge and the bottom of Wyle Cop.

Shropshire Council said: “Contractors will be repairing the void as soon as possible, and reinstating the road surface.”