A Cookstown man whose son damaged his car on a four foot hole in the road has called on TransportNI to review their policy on how they deal with potholes.
Aware of the pothole, the department said it will be fixed within three weeks - and has warned road users to exercise caution in the dark.
Stephen Willis’ son Jamie was on his way home from work on Kilcronaghan Road, just before 6pm on Tuesday, when his dad said he hit the huge hole blowing out his tyre and denting the wheel rim.
But Jamie was not the only one to damage his vehicle - which had just passed the MOT days before - as two other drivers had suffered at the hands of the same “four foot” hole within half an hour, his dad said.
Explaining how it happened, Stephen said: “My son Jamie was coming home from work in Kilcronaghan... just carrying along the road as usual and there was a car pulled in - but he never thought anything of it.
“Then he hit this massive hole. Straight away he knew he had damaged the car, so her nursed it on past the other car.
TransportNI is aware of the pothole on the Kilcronaghan Road and have arranged for its repair within the next 3 weeks
“It was a fella as well, had hit the pothole and that was why he was pulled in,” he added.
“Jamie went on past him and got pulled in at a wee safe spot, because the wheel and all had bust and the rim was damaged.”
Asked if there were any markings around the hole, he added: “That’s the worrying thing. Somebody had been out, because there is a part of a yellow line where it had been marked. But how long ago was that because the yellow line is almost worn off?
“The other fella’s car had to be recovered as far as I am aware as he hit it that hard, it did something to the fuel and the car wouldn’t start.
“Then there was actually a third one after that who damaged a wheel - that was three inside half an hour basically.
“I contacted the police because I wanted the damage logged, and they said they would contact TransportNI straight away.
“I ride a motorcycle, and God forbid you were to hit that on a motorcycle or even a bicycle.
Asked how much the damage is estimated at, he said the car will need a new wheel, new tyre and a front strut, but that it hasn’t yet been looked at by a mechanic.
“I am absolutely furious,” he continued.
“A hole of that size - four foot long. It makes me even more angry to know that somebody from TransportNI had been out - I don’t know how long ago that was - to mark it and walk away from it.
“They really would need to review their policy in how they deal with these.”
A spokesperson for the Department for Infrastructure said: “TransportNI is aware of the pothole on the Kilcronaghan Road and have arranged for its repair within the next 3 weeks in accordance with the repair times established through their Road maintenance Standards for safety.
“The public are reminded to pay extra care and attention when driving during the dark winter periods when inclement weather can adversely affect road surfaces.”