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Pictured: Co Down road collapse exposes sea drop danger to motorists

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The hole on the Shore Road, Portaferry.

The hole on the Shore Road, Portaferry.

The hole on the Shore Road, Portaferry.

A DUP MLA has expressed shock at a hole in a Co Down road which he claims has been ignored for three months.

Alex Easton said the partial road collapse of the Shore Road in Portaferry was "extremely dangerous" and urged motorists to avoid the area.

The sea is clearly visible through the hole.

While the Department for Infrastructure (DfI) admitted they became aware of the issue in February they said the repair work could not be carried out as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mr Easton said he was "amazed and bewildered" to see the hole on the road leading out of the seaside town.

The North Down MLA said two similar holes were forming further along the coastal route.

"There was no visible signage up coming up from the Portaferry end and the road was being used from both directions," Mr Easton said.

He claimed the hole had been reported to the relevant authorities three months ago and called for an investigation into the lack of action.

"This should not have been left in such a dangerous condition and urgent action is required to ensure the road is closed and there is no access along it and also that urgent repairs are taken as a matter of urgency," the DUP MLA said.

"This matter has been reported to both Transport NI and the PSNI, the message is for drivers to avoid the Shore Road, Portaferry."

The DfI said that the road had been closed to traffic in February following an inspection and signage had been put in place.

However a spokesperson said that some drivers had chosen to ignore the closure, while signage had also been damaged or removed.

"Discussions had taken place with the contractor, however the work was delayed due to health and safety restrictions in place during the COVID-19 pandemic," the spokesperson said.

"The contractor is now getting back to work and we will be engaging with them to agree a programme of work including the repairs at Loughshore Road.

"The Department is checking the signage on a regular basis and, most recently, replacements were put in place at the weekend. We would urge all road users to adhere to the signage in place.”

Belfast Telegraph