AN ELDERLY woman has spoken of the “terror” she experienced when her car was stuck in an 8ft-deep pothole.
Jean Lugton, 73, was rescued by a passing group of students after her Corsa was trapped by the “sinkhole” which suddenly appeared in an Edinburgh street.
The horrified pensioner said there appeared to be a cave under the 2ft-wide hole and she feared being buried alive.
Police raced to the scene in Forrest Road – just yards from Greyfriar’s Bobby – and immediately cordoned off the street.
Scotland has been plagued by potholes in recent years as a result of bad weather and cutbacks on maintenance. Councils have paid out millions in compensation to drivers whose vehicles have been damaged.
The latest, dramatic incident happened at around 7:45pm on Tuesday as Ms Lugton drove to meet friends.
She said: “I was at the traffic lights outside Doctors pub so I was travelling quite slow.
“The next thing I knew I thought I had hit a pothole, I tried to rev my engine to get out but it didn’t work.
“When I got out of my car I saw that my wheel up to about half way was stuck in the hole.”
She added: “There was a group of students walking past and they came over to help and four of them managed to lift my car out of the hole and got it to the side of the road.
“We called the police and they came and closed off the road within about five minutes.”
Ms Lugton, who escaped without injury, said: “It was just a complete horror.
“When we looked into the hole it was just completely hollow underneath the road, not like a pothole but more like a sinkhole. It was like a cave, it was terrifying.”
She will need to take her car to a garage to get it checked for damage but declined to comment on whether she would sue the council.
“There are lots of potholes in the city that need to be looked at,” she said.
“This is big enough to draw attention and I would assume they are working to find out what happened.”
A police spokesman said: “There’s nothing to suggest anything else is going to happen but we’ve closed the road until we know exactly what has happened.”
Travellers took to social media on Tuesday night to find out what was holding up their journeys.
Susan Tait said: “Radio mentioned pothole/sinkhole appeared in Forrest Road – big enough for a car to go into – exaggeration or true?”
Potholes topped the list of complaints from Edinburgh residents in a recent survey.
Edinburgh council has paid out more than £102,054 over the past five years to drivers whose vehicles have been damaged by potholes in the city.
Pothole payouts are costing councils across Scotland £1,600 a day, with compensation varying for repairs like burst tires and damages suspension.