PEOPLE living in a quiet street in Ayr say they've been left fearing for their safety as authorities investigate subsidence near their homes.

A section of the road and nearby grassy area in Thornwood Avenue, Dalmilling, partially collapsed last Saturday.

Now the Coal Authority says it is investigating whether the collapse was caused by historical mining.

One worried resident told the Advertiser: “We are wondering if we’re safe. We don’t know what’s under there.”

The mum-of-two, who asked not to be named, added: “The cracks just appeared. It is getting worse since we first noticed.

“At first they just put cones around the area, then they came in and filled the area with stones and fenced it off.

“But it is getting worse. Our driveway is dipping now. We are wondering if our garden will go, and if there is gas under there.

“We are wondering if this crack is coming right through our house.”

A Coal Authority spokesperson said: "We are currently investigating whether a ground collapse in Scotland was caused by historical mining.

"We were called to the site, on a road and grassed area, in Ayr alongside our colleagues from Police Scotland and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service late on Saturday night.

"We have secured the area to keep people safe and will be carrying out further ground investigation works over the coming days.

"People can contact our emergency hazard line on 0800 288 4242 to report any incidents."

But some residents said they were being kept in the dark.

The worried mum revealed: “We don’t know what’s going on. We bought the house just a few months ago and we did have trouble getting the mortgage because of mine works.

“Now we’re thinking ‘what if we want to sell - will we be able to?'”

Another resident told the Advertiser: “We really don’t know what’s going on. It happened on the Saturday and they put up the cones and left.

“My neighbour’s dad phoned about it and the Coal Authority came out, filled the area with small stones, and it was then fenced off.

“It is getting worse and they still can’t tell us much. We just don’t know how safe it is.

“We know nothing. We got letters saying they would keep us up to date, but we’re still waiting.”

Another Thornwood Avenue resident said he planned to raise the subsidence problem with his MP.

He said: “Basically they have found a hole and they are looking into it…

“They are trying to find out who is liable.

“If nothing is done over the next couple of days, I’m going to phone my MP.”

The Coal Authority sent a factsheet to residents soon after the investigation began.

It told them: “We understand that the ground collapse on Thornwood Avenue will be causing concern and disruption for a number of you and we thank you for your patience and understanding during the current situation.

“It is important that we understand what had caused the collapse.

"The Coal Authority are aware of a recorded mine shaft in this area and the possibility of shallow coal mine streams.

“We will need to carry out further ground investigations to confirm if historical coal mining is the cause of this ground collapse. We will inform you when these investigations will take place.

“We apologise for any inconvenience and are grateful for your support and patience.”

Kevin Braidwood, Head of Roads at the Ayrshire Roads Alliance said: "On Saturday evening the Ayrshire Roads Alliance responded to reports of a collapsed sewer. On attending, it was apparent this was not a sewer collapse but the result of historical mine workings.

"ARA immediately set up a road closure with police in attendance. The Coal Authority attended and carried out an initial inspection.

"On Sunday the Coal Authority carried out temporary works and requested that we keep the road closed. They issued information notices and a contact number to all residents.

"The road remains closed and we await details of the Coal Authorities proposals for stabilisation."

A spokesperson for the Coal Authority added: “We have made the site safe and are now undertaking detailed ground investigations to understand the cause of the incident.

“If this incident was caused due to historical coal mine workings, we will design a permanent solution and carry out repair works as soon as we can.

“If residents have any concerns they can report a coal mine hazard to us by calling on 0800 288 4242, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.”