The number of claims for damage caused by potholes in the Mid Ulster area this year has more than doubled compared to the same period last year.
Mid Ulster SDLP MLA, Patsy McGlone, obtained the latest figures in response to a question to the Minister for Regional Development, Michelle McIlveen.
Mr McGlone said: “By 18th March this year 210 claims had been made for vehicles damaged by potholes in Mid Ulster in 2015/16, compared to 96 in 2014/15 and 83 in 2013/14. This is clear evidence of the failure to properly fund the maintenance of the rural road network.
“The DUP/SF budget led to cutbacks in every Department. As a result the funding of the maintenance of our rural roads was cut and repairs to the road network neglected. I warned the Roads Minister at the time that it was a false economy. That it would damage our roads infrastructure, damage our economy - particularly in rural areas where the road network was already under pressure. I said then that there would be no long-term savings from those cuts. The department now faces a massive increase in compensation payouts as a direct result of that short-term decision.”
The DUP/SF budget led to cutbacks in every Department. As a result the funding of the maintenance of our rural roads was cut and repairs to the road network neglected.Mid Ulster SDLP MLA, Patsy McGlone