It took three months and 17 complaints before TransportNI got round to fixing a Pomeroy road so bad, the potholes in it couldn’t be avoided.
And locals, along with Mid Ulster Councillor Cathal Mallaghan, are very angry about how bad Limehill Road was allowed to get.
Mr Mallaghan told the Mail he met with a local section engineer for TransportNI on November 26 and “drove him around Pomeroy, Rock and Kildress to report various faults with drainage and road damage”.
But despite the Limehill Road faults being the standout feature of the tour, it lay untouched for a further three months because it was too bad to patch, he said.
Now Cllr Mallaghan said he has had over a dozen reports of cars being damaged on the unfit surface, two of which DRD have already received compensation claims forms for.
“The engineer agreed it was bad and recommended digging it up and strengthening the junction. Excellent public service I thought,” Cllr Mallaghan stated.
“However on the 1st of February I saw some photos on social media that were just scandalous.
“The road was never fixed and looked like a meteorite hit it. By far the worst condition I have ever seen.”
A concerned local resident also contacted the Mail about the road.
“This problem has been going on for a few months,” she said. “My husband contacted them because he hit our car and damaged the rim. They have been contacted on numerous occasions and nothing has been done... except for them putting up signs saying slippery road and flood.
“It’s absolutely atrocious. Rural roads definitely don’t get the attention that they need. What’s the point in paying your taxes?”
So angry is Cllr Cathal Mallaghan about DRD’s inaction over the Limehill Road, he has submitted a motion calling for the care of roads to be transferred to council. “It doesn’t matter that we pay our rates and taxes like everyone else,” he said. “A few individuals in an office in Cookstown decide what they will fix, when they want to fix it.
“Zero accountability and zero input from the public.
“On Thursday [Feb 11] I asked the engineer what on earth was going on,” he explained. “His reply was that it wasn’t worth a temporary fix. The holes where to big to patch and they where under water so they couldn’t get at them.
“However he says, we are going to put a sign up - Well hooray for a sign.
“Never mind that half the country has wrecked their cars but a sign will be a satisfactory response.
“When I told the engineer that I didn’t think that was good enough,” he added, “he said welcome to rural road management 2016. What a let down.
TransportNI said they have now fixed Limehill Road, having tasked engineers to the site late last week.
A spokesperson said: “All roads are routinely inspected with all safety related defects being prioritised for repair and there are dedicated teams of road inspectors in local section offices.
“The timescale for repairs to be undertaken depends on a number of factors including defect severity and traffic volumes. The service that can be provided ultimately depends on the available budget, with the highest priority defects targeted first.”