A COLLAPSED sewer is the cause of the third sinkhole to close one of Barrow's roads in the space of two months.

A sinkhole developed in Sidney Street around two weeks ago and has led to part of the town centre road being closed.

The hole is caused by a collapsed sewer underground and follows two others developing in Cheltenham Street and nearby Duke Street just around the corner from Sidney Street, a county council spokesman said. He added: "All three have been caused by collapsed sewers."

The holes in Duke Street and Cheltenham Street, first reported in April and May, have since been repaired by United Utilities. The hole in Sidney Street is awaiting repair.

The sinkhole in Duke Street was first reported by Rus Edgar who was walking with his nine-year-old son Harley at the time.

Mr Edgar said: "My son and I were walking down the street laughing and joking, but I put my foot down and it felt like standing on a sponge.

"I saw the hole and dragged my son back by the scruff of his neck. It gave him a bit of a fright because he didn't understand why, but it was really scary.

"We tried looking down it and shining a light but I could not see anything."

A spokesman for Cumbria's highways department said: "There is likely to be no direct link between the Sidney Street and Duke Street sinkholes."

But Mr Edgar said he believed the area was susceptible to drainage issues.

"I think that whole area has had problems for years," he said.

"I used to work at the Old Bank pub next door and the basement was always wet. The walls were never dry and whenever we used to have any rain we would have to get it pumped out.

"The part of the road where it says 'No entry' looks as if it is dropping. I've seen sink holes before and the chances are they can get bigger."