Part of the pavement in South Road, Haywards Heath - a busy thoroughfare for shoppers - was closed off this morning and an emergency highways team called out after a sink hole was revealed.
It is thought the weight of a parked vehicle pushed through the fragile pavement to reveal the hole, which could have endangered passers-by.
Workmen removing railings saw the subsidence and an emergency team from West Sussex Highways was alerted by Haywards Heath Town Council.
The hole can be seen to extend out from the pavement under the road and cordons have been erected to keep shoppers away.
Under ground erosion could have been caused by free flowing water which can be seen running in the hole.
However, investigations are yet to determine the extent and severity of the hole, which is next to traffic lights on the north side of South Road opposite the 99p Store.
One workman commented that if the hole under the road surface is not a culvert, it is fortunate the weight of a large vehicle has not caused the road to subside.
This could have major implications for the A272 running through Haywards Heath if the emergency team believe the main road’s foundations to have been affected by the issue.
More details to follow.