£110k paid out to Mid Ulster motorists for damage caused by potholes

Massive pothole in Ardboe
Massive pothole in Ardboe

Potholes on Mid Ulster’s crumbling network of roads have forced the government to stump up approximately £110,000 in damages over the past three years.

Some 396 compensation claims to cover the cost of vehicle damage and injuries were settled by the Western Division of Roads Service, which covers the Mid Ulster District as well as Omagh and Fermanagh.

The total was the second highest in Northern Ireland, after the Southern Division’s 658.

Last year, 99 claims were paid out by the local division, while 81 were rejected.

According to the RAC, the average settlement amount for a successful pothole claim rose last year to £286.

Across Northern Ireland, 599 claims were made last year, with the Roads Division paying out 389 of them.

The latest figures were released by the Department of Regional Development at the Northern Ireland Assembly.

Concerns have been raised by local politicians that the Mid Ulster district is suffering from a pothole epidemic after underinvestment and poor maintenance in the road network.

However a TransportNI 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.” Additional funding has been prioritised for road maintenance by the Executive.