Belfast Telegraph

Revealed: Cost of Northern Ireland's crumbling roads to public purse

More than £500,000 in compensation has been paid out to motorists whose cars have been damaged on Northern Ireland's roads.

The BBC's Stephen Nolan show revealed the figures paid out of the public purse over a three year period for damage caused by pot holes and other road defects.

More than 4,000 motorists were successful in their claims against Stormont.

Former MLA David McNarry said: "I think the public will be astounded at the figures. The department sets aside money for claims rather than fix the roads and half a million pounds, I would think, would fix a lot of pot holes - if they did it right.

To pot with the pot holes - let's just fix them. David McNarry

"These things are dangerous and can cause accidents. But rather than pay the claims, they would be better fixing the roads.

"There are craters all over the country - and they just pay out the money if cars are damaged and they are prepared to take the hit, they plan for it by putting it in their budget and that, to me, is just reprehensible."

The Department for Infrastructure told the Belfast Telegraph: "The Department does ensure that the highest priority defects on the road network are repaired, however, there are a number of competing priorities within the Department, including road maintenance services which have had to be reduced.

"When managing around 26,000 kilometres of roads, 10,000 kilometres of footways, 5,800 bridges, 283,000 streetlights and 34 Park and Ride / Share car parks the Department must be mindful of the potential liabilities. 

"The Department continues to monitor the number received and identify trends so that monies can be efficiently and effectively off set against these."

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