Thames Water are still investigating the cause of a 4ft 'sinkhole' in East Oxford.

The 'sinkhole' appeared in the middle of Hill Top Road, East Oxford about six weeks ago and has since been filled in.

Residents were concerned it was creating a safety issue as vehicles mounted the pavement to avoid falling into it.

So Oxfordshire County Council has filled in the hole as a temporary measure and Thames Water spokesman Lee Irving said: "We are still investigating the drains."

Resident Elizabeth Russell spotted the strange hole in front of her home while returning from work at the John Radcliffe Hospital.

Cats had reportedly been seen delving into the depths of the hole before popping back out a few moments later.

The 45-year-old said: "I came home from work and saw this massive sinkhole there in the middle of the road.

"It was an amusement for a while. It's like a crater. It was big when it first appeared and then it got a little bit bigger."

But Dr Russell, a mother-of-two, said her glee soon turned to worry when she realised cars were driving on to the pavement when swerving round the hole.

She added: "There's a lot of children coming along here going to local schools. They think the pavement is a safe place to be."

Oxford City Councillors Jamila Azad and Tom Hayes have both received reports from residents about the issue.

Mr Hayes said if he stood in the hole it would be at least waist height and a small child would be 'completely covered'.

He said: "I'm massively worried. It's the first of its kind I've seen on my ward. The county council and Thames Water seem to be shifting responsibility for dealing with it."

Barriers have since appeared around the hole, which Dr Russell claimed stems back underneath the tarmac, and it has been filled in temporally with concrete.

Oxfordshire County Council spokesman Martin Crabtree said Thames Water told contractors to install the barriers as long ago as March 1.

He added: "We have been in regular contact with Thames Water since then as they seek to establish whether the problem has been caused by a water leak or with sewers.

"As the barriers have caused some access problems locally we have decided to temporarily fill in the hole until Thames Water are able to conclude their investigations."

Thames Water said it was 'aware' of damage in the street and confirmed its engineers were in the midst of investigating the cause of the hole.

Engineers have already undertaken CCTV surveying of the main sewers in the road but have not been able to locate any defects, the water company said.

Spokesman Lee Irving added: "We have inspected the two main sewers under the road, and the next stage of our investigations will involve drain inspections from a variety of nearby locations to look for defects.

"As soon as we know the results, we’ll be able to plan how we’re going to fix this issue."