REPAIRING a road which split after heavy rainfall will cost hundreds of thousands of pounds, an expert has predicted.

Nick Armstrong, a geotechnical engineer at Wallingford-based land surveyors Fugro, said the deep cracks which appeared in Oxford Road at Hinksey Hill could take months to repair.

The Oxford to Abingdon Road has been shut in both directions since December 20 due to a landslide on the A4183 between Hinksey Hill and Bagley Wood.

Mr Armstrong said: “Paying a construction worker probably costs around £500 a day and you would need five or six people working for several months.

“But first you would have to employ a geotechnical consultant to find out how deep the land slip goes and install measures to repair it. And if there are gas mains there, as it appears from the pictures, then you can’t afford to let this happen again.

“It is going to be very costly.”

Oxfordshire County Council was unable to say when the last time any maintenance had been carried out on the damaged stretch of road.

Rodney Rose, cabinet member for transport for the county council, said: “All our roads are inspected every six months.

“I would have expected that [the last inspection] to turn up a problem like this if it had already existed. When you get the amount of rainfall we’ve had all sorts of things can happen.”