Tunnelling work on part of the £5.2bn Channel Tunnel Rail Link will be delayed for at least eight weeks after a 10 m deep hole opened up at Stratford, east London, last month
A CTRL spokesperson said this week that no work has been carried out on the Stratford–Ilford section of the line for the past six weeks. Work is not expected to restart for at least another fortnight.

The spokesperson added: "We are still not moving but we hope to have the project up and running again in the next couple of weeks, depending on whether we get the go-ahead from the Health and Safety Executive."

CTRL has accepted liability for the incident in Lavender Street. Initial reports suggest that it was caused when a boring machine disturbed a network of 19th-century wells.

The CTRL spokesperson said: "Most of the cosmetic damage to properties has been put right."

It was also confirmed that CTRL was in discussion with residents over compensation claims.

The spokesperson added that despite the delay to the scheme, which will link St Pancras station in north London to the Channel Tunnel terminal at Ashford, Kent, the project was still on course for completion in 2007.

He said: "In any project of this scale we make allowances for delays. Hopefully we can now speed up the work and remain on track."

The HSE confirmed that it was continuing its investigation but would not say when it would be completed.

An spokesperson for the executive said: "We cannot put a timescale on the resumption of work until we have had a chance to look at CTRL's proposals in greater depth."