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Question by Dan Daley to Mike Whiting, Cabinet Member for Planning, Highways, Transport & Waste

July 11, 2019 7:25 PM

After a major sinkhole less than a mile away on the adjoining Tonbridge Road caused closures for a period of 5 months last year. Many residents are becoming increasingly concerned that more sinkholes could yet appear in the area. Could the Cabinet Member
for Planning, Highways, Transport and Waste confirm whether KCC has access to Lidar technology, or other similar means of identifying potential geological weaknesses and faults on its roads? If so, is this being proactively used to try and detect possible sinkholes before they emerge?

Answer

The Highways department is aware of LIDAR technology and reviews this and other technologies to see whether they can provide benefit to highways management in the county.

Whilst LIDAR provides some benefits in understanding topography, because sinkholes usually appear extremely quickly, sometimes within hours, there is no guarantee they would be identified any quicker by a LIDAR survey.

The Highways department has operational procedures in place that enable teams to mobilise quickly to respond to any highway collapse or defect. This approach is costeffective in terms of both efficiency and effective service delivery.