Belfast Telegraph

‘There was an almighty thud and my tyre popped like a balloon’

By Claire O'Boyle

Pothole victims have hit out at the state of Northern Ireland's roads.

Civil servant Steven Campbell was driving from Ballynahinch in Co Down to Enniskillen in the west when his tyre blew up "like a balloon" last year.

"I was on the Magheraknock Road towards Lisburn and there was an almighty thud," said Steven (42). "It was like a balloon popping, the front tyre just went. I'd only had the two front tyres replaced so they were in a good state when it happened."

Steven took a picture of the pothole and was able to change the tyre himself, before carrying on his journey to Co Fermanagh.

"It was this time last year, so a horrible cold, rainy morning," he said. "The last thing you want is to be out on the side of the road changing a tyre. For the rest of my drive to Enniskillen I was stuck at 50mph because it was the spare tyre."

Steven paid £100 to have the tyre replaced, and a further £15 to make sure the car's tracking hadn't been damaged. "I sent in my form and picture, and within a couple of weeks I got a cheque out for £80," he said.

"I phoned them up and told them I'd had to pay £115 altogether, that I'd replaced my tyres like for like and had the tracking checked too.

"They obviously try to fob you off, but in the end they agreed to give me the rest and I got a second cheque a week or two after that.

"The roads are a disaster, they're not maintaining them properly. That's where the problem's coming from.

"If they were kept at a decent standard they wouldn't have to pay out so much to drivers. I had to swerve the car again just yesterday to avoid a pothole on the Ballygowan Road. It's a mess."

Meanwhile, Ryan McKernan from Cookstown was driving along the Cookstown to Omagh Road when he hit a huge pothole earlier this month.

He said: "I was on my way to Donegal for a few days when it happened. I'd already swerved to miss at least 15 before hitting that one, there was just no way of missing it. The tyre blew out. I thought I'd damaged my alloy too but thankfully it was okay. It cost £70 just to replace the tyre."

Signmaker Ryan (34) said it was dark and raining when his car hit the pothole, so he didn't get a picture.

He said he hadn't filled in a form yet to receive compensation, adding: "I doubt I will fill out the form because I have no faith in politicians and like everything else it's better to sort the problem myself."

Belfast Telegraph

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