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£210k paid to motorists with cars hit by potholes in Northern Ireland

By Staff Reporter

Published 15/09/2016

Alliance Party MLA Kellie Armstrong
Alliance Party MLA Kellie Armstrong

Stormont paid out more than £200,000 to drivers whose vehicles were damaged by potholes in a year, it has emerged.

A total of £210,000 was handed out during the 2015/16 financial year, it was revealed at the Assembly yesterday.

Areas with the highest claims included Mid-Ulster, Antrim and Newtownabbey, and Lisburn and Castlereagh.

The information was presented to the Assembly's Infrastructure Committee.

Alliance politician Kellie Armstrong said that the payout revelation showed the need for a coherent road maintenance strategy.

"This is a sizable amount of public money that is being spent by the department at a time when belts are being tightened across our society," explained the Strangford MLA.

"In addition, the question has to be asked, how many of these vehicle damage claims also led to people being injured?

"It is one thing saving money by doing just in time repairs, but the human cost could be much more.

"It is clear that the Department for Infrastructure needs to develop and implement a strategic plan to ensure the upkeep of our roads.

"By doing so, it will mean fewer repairs are needed in future and less public money will be paid out as fewer claims will be made."

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