Shoddy pothole repairs '˜totally unacceptable'

Motorists are becoming more angry and local politicians more frustrated as the pothole crisis escalates - even pothole repairs are regarded as sub-standard.

Thursday, 29th March 2018, 10:45 am
Updated Thursday, 29th March 2018, 10:45 am
Potholes on Kiln Road Lurgan before Department of Infrastructure repairs

A prime example were the ‘repairs’ to potholes on one of Lurgan’s busiest thoroughfares - Kiln Road - heavily used by trucks heading between our local business parks and the M1.

‘Deep and dangerous’ holes were pointed out to the Department of Infrastructure by local politicians, however, repairs have been branded ‘nothing short of a disgrace’.

SDLP Cllr Declan McAlinden accused officials of squandering limited resources by carrying out repairs so badly that he believes more cash will be needed to repair them again.

Potholes on Kiln Road Lurgan after Department of Infrastructure repairs

“With this latest incident, it is clear that the junction on the Kiln Road warrants repair, however, the repair work is at an unacceptable standard with little or no improvements to this patch of the road.

“It is worrying that with the lack of resources DFI have, this is a waste of valuable resources as they will have to come back out on site, assess the condition of the road again and carry out the necessary repair works.

“Our roads are crumbling and the outcome will leave DFI spending thousands more when they actually get round to repairing them. The Department needs to stop ignoring the problem and get on with fixing them and fixing them right.

“At present, resurfacing work is ongoing on the Annesborough Rd which we have been lobbying for a long time. We would welcome if DFI can find the resources and move onto the Kiln Rd and the Lough Rd to finish the job.”

Potholes on Kiln Road Lurgan after Department of Infrastructure repairs

“It is quite evident that the starving of resources is really having an impact.

“As a consequence, many residents have incurred damage to their vehicles and I am constantly directing people to the Department of Infrastructure’s Central Claims Unit.”

A Departmental spokesperson said: “The Department has been operating in a challenging budgetary position for some time and this has been having an impact on all road maintenance activities and the condition of the road network.

“The defects on Kiln Road were temporarily repaired ahead of planned resurfacing of this stretch of the road, which is expected to be carried out in the new financial year, subject to the availability of the necessary funding.”

DUP Cllr Mark Baxter says he has been inundated since before Christmas about the state of the roads across the borough.

“The amount of potholes is simply unacceptable and the criteria used is questionable to say the least.

“I do realise, however, that there are many mitigating factors, budgets are extremely tight and Sinn Fein’s refusal to form an Executive and to Govern with the other willing parties has compounded this issue.

“I’ve spoken to Transport NI on many occasions and while staff are understanding and doing their best I firmly believe this matter should be taken to task.

“Constituents are quite rightly very aggrieved that while taxes and rates continue to rise the roads continue to deteriorate.

“Something needs to change and funds need to made available to tackle this very emotive issue,

“Quite frankly it’s dangerous with people avoiding these caverns on the road. It’s like ‘the Whacky races’.

“People on a daily basis are using phrases to me such as ‘the roads are like a picked scab’ or it’s like ‘a patchwork quilt’.

“With more frost in the forecast over Easter which will make matters worse I’m genuinely worried that there may be some serious accidents as well as more damage to vehicles.

“Action needs taken and I’m calling on the permanent secretary to step in and step up and make funds available as a matter of some urgency.”