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Millions set aside to pay for car damage caused by potholes

By Adrian Rutherford

Published 06/04/2015

Mid-Ulster MLA Patsy McGlone
Mid-Ulster MLA Patsy McGlone

Ten compensation claims a week are landing on officials' desks from irate motorists whose cars have been damaged by potholes.

Road users can claim thousands of pounds, depending on the severity of the problem.

The Department for Regional Development (DRD) is reported to have set aside £4.5m for payouts over the next year.

Last month it emerged DRD had received 556 compensation claims in 12 months which cited potholes as the cause of damage.

The figures, reported in the Belfast Telegraph on March 18, were revealed after an Assembly question from Patsy McGlone.

The SDLP MLA said he had seen an increase in complaints from constituents in recent months.

He has now written to Roads Minister Danny Kennedy to highlight concern at the poor condition of a particular road in his Mid Ulster constituency.

Mr McGlone said he had received numerous complaints about "substantial and significant" potholes on the Killycolpy Road in Ardboe.

"It is a very busy road with heavy vehicles travelling regularly to and from the Ardboe Business Park," he said.

"The condition of the road surface is particularly bad at present, and it is breaking up in places.

"I have written to the roads minister to highlight local concern at the poor condition of the road and to seek immediate action to address the problem."

Mr McGlone said the rural roads network is a vital connection between communities and an important driver of the economy.

"It is the minister's responsibility to ensure that our rural roads are not allowed to deteriorate to the point at which they become an obstacle to that connection and economic activity," he added.

"Additionally, the Executive needs to prioritise the roads network and properly fund the maintenance and improvement of all our roads."

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