SABDEN residents have a long wait ahead of them after highways chiefs revealed that a large hole in a busy road will not be fixed until Christmas.

The section of Padiham Road, close to the White Hart pub, collapsed into a brook due to a heavy vehicle passing by in late June.

And this week rumours that repairs to the road near the Bull Bridge will not be completed for several months were confirmed.

Surveyors from Lancashire County Council have told parish councillors that repairing the road is a 'difficult' and 'major' task due to its location.

Michael Calvert, chairman of Sabden Parish Council, said he was very concerned as the road had deteriorated further.

He said: "It is getting worse as the time passes and because of the volume of traffic it could become quite dangerous. It is an emergency and needs fixing sooner rather than later."

Since the collapse there have been temporary lights with traffic passing one way.

Mr Calvert, said: "Bad weather will obviously have an impact and I'm not sure it will survive a harsh winter- if we had a torrential downpour it could lead to a major landslip.

"We are also worried about cars passing each other as it is very narrow and it could lead to accidents."

Community leaders will be holding a meeting to discuss the matter and will be writing to county hall bosses urging them to speed up the repair process.

David Leung, principal bridges engineer, said: "A significant part of the retaining wall adjacent to the bridge was damaged and our engineers acted quickly to make the area safe.

"We have to carry out thorough investigations and survey work to find out what caused the collapse. We then have to design a new, more sturdy wall, which will be built to modern standards. This process will take several weeks.

"We will then have to carefully re-construct the wall, which will be a difficult task considering its location and the fact that we will have to re-route gas, electricity and water supplies while the work takes place.

"This work will take several months – but we will make every effort to ensure it is completed as quickly is possible."