A huge 40ft hole has opened up on Manchester's Mancunian Way, causing major traffic disruptions to and from the city centre.

Transport for Greater Manchester said the road has been closed in both directions and advises people to take alternative routes due to the appearance of the hole.

The pot hole, reported to be around 15ft across, appeared at the Ancoats end of the busy commuter route in the city. The hole is believed to have been caused by either a collapsed sewer or water pipe, or erosion as a result of the heavy rain in the area, reported the Manchester Evening News.

It is feared the road could be closed for weeks as Manchester council engineers and United Utilities assess the full extent of the damage.

A Manchester City Council spokesperson said: "Motorists should be aware that part of the Mancunian Way is currently closed in both directions due to a collapse in the road caused by the extremely wet weather.

"It is thought a culvert beneath the Mancunian Way has been eroded by the heavy rainfall which has caused the road above to be impacted.

"The council and United Utilities officers are currently at the scene to assess the situation. Depending on the extent of the issue the road may remain closed over the weekend. Traffic will be diverted via London Road, Fairfield Street, A665, Hyde Road and Downing Street."