The main street through Kirkham town centre will be shut for emergency drainage work from Friday morning, it has emerged.
Poulton Street has already witnessed weeks of disruption after the repeated appearance of dips in the road.
One lane has been closed and temporary traffic lights put in place while water company United Utilities has attempted to repair a defective Victorian drain.
But subsidence has now been spotted on the other side of the street and, after a visit by highways officers, United Utilities has now decided to close the road completely to allow emergency repairs to be carried out.
An inspection will take place at 7am and the company says it will endeavour to keep the road open during the Friday morning rush hour – but it may have to be closed sooner, depending on the outcome of the investigation.
It is not known exactly how long the work will take, but United Utilities has moved to reassure residents that the town’s annual Club Day parade on 8th June will still be able to take its normal route through the town centre.
A spokesperson for the company told the local democracy reporting service that workers will leave the site on 7th June and make it safe for activities over the festival weekend. They will then return to continue work at the start of the following week.
County Cllr Liz Oades – in whose Fylde East division Kirkham sits – welcomed the efforts being made not to disrupt the town’s big day. But she said news of the closure would come as a blow
“Businesses are already very fed up with the impact on trade so far, but safety has to come first and obviously I’d hate to see the road collapse and send a vehicle down into a hole,” County Cllr Oades said.
“I also understand that shops will be able to claim for any loss of income for the duration of the works.”
Damien Buckley, who owns DCBComputing on Poulton Street, said the decline in custom even during the recent lane closure had been noticeable.
“It has taken away the on-street parking spaces and that makes a big difference, especially for elderly customers who do not want to walk from the car park.
“I’ve been here for 30 years and I’ve only known Poulton Street to be shut once in that time – and it turned Kirkham into a ghost town,” he added.
United Utilities said the work – to completely replace a sewer – was vital.
“We ask people to bear with us and we apologise for any disruption,” a spokesperson said.
Lancashire County Council was contacted for comment.