A BUSY street in Huddersfield town centre has been shut because of fears a huge hole has appeared beneath it.
The junction of Ramsden Street and Peel Street has been sealed off by highways engineers, who have started to excavate.
And it means problems for drivers and hundreds of bus passengers, who use the popular stops next to Queensgate Market Hall.
The road closure was brought in at midnight, after tests on what appeared to be a small hole at the corner of the pavement showed the scale of the problem. Experts fear that subsoil beneath the road surface has been washed away by a water leak.
Now, an area of about 50 square metres is to be excavated.
Tests indicate that the hole under the road could be several feet deep.
A similar problem in Almondbury just before Christmas left an elderly woman badly hurt when a pavement collapsed beneath her.
Karl Sabine, of Kirklees Council's highways service, said Peel Street was closed
after a hole was found following work by Yorkshire Water.
He added: "Kirklees will investigate and aim to get the repairs completed as soon as possible.
"We need to determine exactly how much damage there is beneath the road and pavement."
Graham Riley, of bus company First Huddersfield, said: "It is a major inconvenience for passengers.
"The stops in Peel Street serve the Holme Valley, Colne Valley, Meltham and other areas. All services are diverted via the ring road.
"Those stops are extremely popular with shoppers. They will now have to use either the bus station or Chapel Hill."
Traffic is being diverted to avoid the repair work.
Vehicles can use Alfred Street and Corporation Street, but must then turn left to High Street.