I wasn’t surprised when the water main under Walmgate burst up through the road surface and turned the road into a lake on Monday morning.

There have been signs for years that something is not right under this street.

I first noticed that the road surface on the left hand side going towards Walmgate Bar had sagged to form a trough at least three years ago.

Gradually over time, it sagged deeper and deeper, forcing me to cycle further and further to the right to the annoyance of any car following.

You don’t need a civil engineering degree to know that a sagging road surface means a lack of proper support underneath.

In 2014 and in 2017 the council repaired parts of the road.

In 2017 it filled in the deepest part of the trough with asphalt.

For a time I celebrated riding on the left hand side of the road.

But the part of the trough that had not been filled in continued to sag and is sagging as I write.

As for the “repaired” section, there are signs that it too, is starting to sag again.

How could it not?

I assume no-one bothered to investigate why the road was sagging, because little was done. They just plonked extra asphalt down and hoped that would do the trick.

There have also been at least two incidents in the last 12 months when water pipes under Walmgate have sent their water up to the surface instead of wherever it should be going.

Neither was as spectacular as this week’s but both caused disruption. Both were a warning that the pipework under this street is not as it should be.

But all Yorkshire Water seemed interested in on each occasion was stopping the leak, rather than investigating why.

Could they have prevented this week’s drama?

Then there was the dip that appeared earlier this year at the junction of Margaret Street and Walmgate.

The council did exactly what they do all over York – cover it with asphalt and go away.

So when the road buckled on Monday as the water main fired its contents out I was not surprised and I was not alone.

Anyone who uses Walmgate knows the problems along this road.

You may remember last year I wrote a column about the plague of potholes throughout York and the council’s method of “repairing” them.

Last Spring they “repaired” the 50 potholes in my street in three hours.

How did they manage to mend 50 potholes in three hours?

By the same method they used on countless other roads - plopping asphalt into them, rolling it flat and moving on.

The repairs were not sealed and one year on the road is just as bad as it was before with plenty more potholes, some of them next to or part of the potholes that were “repaired”.

The council will tell you it is spending tens of thousands of pounds on repairing roads.

What it is doing is making it look as if it is repairing roads rather like a householder slapping whitewash onto a wall to hide the damp underneath.

The damp doesn’t go away, and sooner or later it breaks through, just as the water broke through in Walmgate.

Likewise Yorkshire Water will give you an impressive figure of the amount it is spending on replacing pipes and preventing leaks.

But I suspect it is often dealing with the symptoms and not the cause.

In Walmgate they have replaced the broken pipe and even done some work to support the surface of the dip at the Margaret Street junction.

But I’ve seen no evidence that they have even looked at the trough above the pipeline further along the road.

Will we see a repetition of this week’s problems later this year in a different part of the street?

Walmgate was not the first York street to experience difficulties this year.

Penley’s Grove Street has had a sinkhole.

Nor is Walmgate the only street with a sagging trough along one side.

I’m sure you could name several in different parts of the city.

How many more will burst forth with water?

When will the council and the utilities accept that there is something seriously amiss under our roads?