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Friday, 19 October, 2001, 16:25 GMT 17:25 UK
M6 sinks by three feet
M6
A half-mile stretch of the M6 has sunk three feet
Subsidence has caused one of the busiest stretches of motorway in the country, the M6 in the Midlands, to sink by three feet.

The problem, between junctions four and three between Birmingham and Coventry, has been caused by mining from the nearby Daw Mill colliery.

Speed restrictions of 50mph have been introduced.

The Highways Agency said the sinking of the roadway has been planned for and the motorway is safe to drive on as long as motorists keep to the speed limit.

Coal seam

A half-mile stretch of the road has sunk because of the mining.

The Warwickshire coal seam passes directly underneath the motorway.

The seam is 500 yards (600m) below the surface but now the coal has been mined the soil above it is subsiding gradually.

The Warwickshire seam
The Warwickshire seam is 500 yards underground
Peter Adams of the agency said: "We've put in a 50mph speed limit and it is safe provided people stay at the speed limit.

"If there are any real patches of unevenness then we will replace it straight away."

The 3.5m cost of the road works has been met entirely by mining company UK Coal.


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See also:

18 Jun 01 | UK
New misery for M6 drivers
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