A SMALL HOLE has led to chaos on the main road leading down to Shanklin's beach and esplanade.

The issue became prevalent around six weeks ago, with cracks and a hole appearing towards the brow of Hope Hill, possibly a result of a fractured sewage pipe.

Temporary traffic lights were installed around the hole, and have been there ever since — at the height of the summer season.

One resident told the County Press: "This is shameful. The summer season is already in full swing down here, so why can’t this be repaired now? The companies can argue about liability afterwards.

"I’m banging my head on a brick wall. I’ve contacted Island Roads, Southern Water, Dyno-Rod and two local IW councillors, yet nobody knows what’s happening — it’s a disgrace. It’s beyond appalling."

Cllr Chris Quirk, who represents Shanklin South, said: "The situation regarding the sink hole on Hope Hill is totally unreasonable.

"Island Roads accuse Southern Water of being responsible through leakage from water or sewage pipes. Southern Water say they have checked and there is no leak.

"Neither party accepts responsibility as neither wants to pay for the work — both are in breach of the performance standards they are expected to achieve.

"The right thing for them to have done would be either complete the work or ask the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) to appoint an independent surveyor to adjudicate, although that would probably cost more than getting on with the work.

"Shanklin depends on tourism and creating chaos on the only road to the beach hardly helps the recovery.

"Island Roads — please fix it now and argue with Southern Water later, you are destroying tourism in Shanklin.”

A spokesperson for Island Roads said: "Temporary traffic lights have been installed at Hope Hill for safety reasons to keep traffic away from a void that has been detected beneath the carriageway.

"We believe this void is connected to recent Southern Water work in the area and have arranged a site meeting with Southern Water to discuss the situation and investigate how repairs should progress.

"We will continue to monitor the temporary traffic lights to ensure they are allowing optimum traffic flows until the void is repaired.

"We hope this situation can be resolved promptly." The County Press has contacted Southern Water for a statement.