Wall collapses in Hanham Road in Kingswood

The wall, which has been the subject of safety concerns, collapsed this morning

The wall, which has been the subject of safety concerns, collapsed this morning

A large section of wall in Hanham Road collapsed this morning.

The wall, opposite the Forest Road junction, is owned and maintained by South Gloucestershire Council, which noted more than two years ago that it was bowing and cracking.

Today local councillor Andy Perkins told The Week In: “If that wall had collapsed an hour earlier, there would have been schoolchildren, parents pushing buggies etc walking past. I shudder to think what could have happened.”

He said he had reported it to StreetCare to ask for it to be made safe and for the debris to be cleared from the pavement.

The section of pavement has now been sealed off to pedestrians.

Cllr Perkins (Labour, Woodstock) said it was not the first time that sections of the wall had collapsed and been repaired. After he and other ward councillors passed on a complaint about the state of the wall from a local resident last year, council engineers had said the wall was unlikely to be repaired in the near future but would rise in the works list if the condition got worse.

In a letter last December, the engineers said that the inspection record for July 2013 showed that the bowing and cracking noted in the wall in September 2011 had not worsened.

wall collapse 010The letter adds: “The defects noted during the inspections have been entered into our works programme but unfortunately the repair to the wall is currently at number 2,157 in a list of 3,448 items.  This means the wall in unlikely to be repaired in the near future.  Should the condition become worse, the repair will rise in the works list and have a better chance of being undertaken.”

Cllr Perkins said: “In response to concerns we raised on behalf of residents, the wall was judged safe in December last year although the inspection frequency was reduced to annual rather than bi-annual. Judging by the dates, it should have been inspected in July.

“I have now gone back to the engineers with today’s news and told them that my assumption is that the wall will now be at the top of the list of priorities.”

The Week In has asked the council for a comment.