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Our borough eclipses Belfast to top ‘potholes league of shame’

The Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon borough has topped the potholes league of shame.

The local council area had the highest number of defects on its roads out of all 11 ‘super-council’ areas.

And its neighbouring Newry, Mourne and Down does not fare much better.

The Department of Regional Development came under fire repeatedly last year after budgetary cutbacks were blamed for a lack of roads maintenance.

Grass verges and gully emptying were also hit.

Now the issue of potholes falls under the remit of the new Department of Infrastructure, which has confirmed today  (Monday) that £5 million has been earmarked for roads maintenance – including potholes and resurfacing – during the next financial year.

Last year’s figures read like a horror story.

Across Northern Ireland as a whole there were just over 110,000 defects confirmed. This includes potholes, cracks and depressions.

Of these, the highest number were recorded in the Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council area.

There were a total of 18,173 defects in this area.

And that is almost 6,000 more than the biggest council area – Belfast – which had 12,260!

Newry, Mourne and Down saw 12,260 defects recorded on its roads.

The issue of potholes has long been a cause for concern, not least for the dangers they pose in terms of the potential for causing accidents, but the damage which can be caused to vehicles as a result.

The Department of Infrastructure says its priority is to ensure the safety of all road users.

Infrastructure Minister Chris Hazzard has announced today that he is making available £5 million to enhance road maintenance service.

The resource funding was secured by the Minister as part of the Executive June Monitoring round.

Minister Chris Hazzard said: “My Department’s priority is to ensure the safety of all road users and Transport NI manages an ongoing programme of roads maintenance.

“As a result of the outcome of June Monitoring I can allocate to TransportNI £5million to enhance routine maintenance services.

“A second grass cut will be programmed across all areas.

“In addition, the majority of potholes will now be repaired (greater than 50mm on rural low trafficked roads and greater than 20mm elsewhere) and the renewal of road markings will be accelerated.

“An additional gully clean will also be programmed in all urban areas and the repair of street lighting outages will continue into the autumn.”

The addition funding also positions TransportNI to call on contractor resources if required.

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