AN ARDS peninsula councillor has expressed concern at the crumbling state of the roads on the Ards peninsula after counting over 30 potholes on one road alone.
Councillor Robert Adair has said the roads are in a ‘poor state’ and he has never seen such a ‘state of disrepair’.
One pothole, on the Manse Road, in Carrowdore, is so deep that a local resident has placed a traffic cone in the hole after up to 11 cars, including a police car, were damaged in one day.
Mr Adair counted at least 30 potholes on the Portaferry Road and 21 on the Springvale Road between Ballyhalbert and Ballywalter.
“I have written to the Department for Infrastructure regarding the poor and unsafe state of many roads. I’ve asked them if routine inspections are still being carried out as many pot holes have been left unrepaired for months,” said Mr Adair.
“I have only passed my driving test less than 10 months ago and already I have damaged four tyres due to the poor condition of our roads.
“I don’t drive more than 40 miles per hour but the potholes are very dangerous and not visible in the dark.
“I hit three pot holes on my journey home at the weekend and as a result damaged my tire costing me £86 to repair in the past week. Twelve constituents have also contacted me after damage to their vehicles due to potholes.”
Mr Adair said he has also counted 10 potholes and noted an uneven road surface on Kircubbin Main Street. The Manse Road, Carrowdore has six potholes, Mounstewart Road also has six potholes, Main Road, Cloughey has seven potholes, Cloughey Road, Portavogie has four potholes and Dunover Road, Ballywalter has seven pot holes.
“I have never seen our road network in such a crumbling state,” he said.
“This issue is a huge concern for many of my constituents. We have to have our cars MOTed each year to ensure our vehicles are roadworthy yet many roads in the Ards peninsula are not satisfactory to travel on.
“The deep and dangerous potholes are causing a real road safety problem and damage to vehicles poses a real road safety concern.”
A statement from the Department for Infrastructure stated there has been ‘historical under-investment’ in the maintenance of the road network for many years resulting in the deterioration we are now experiencing.
“More recently because of budget cuts the Department has had to reduce its routine maintenance activities to a ‘limited service’ which prioritises delivery of essential services for maintaining public safety,” said the statement.
“Consequently, only the highest priority defects across the road network are currently being repaired.
“With regards to roads in the Ards area, the Department continually inspects the road network and those defects on the roads listed, which meet the intervention level, will be taken forward for repair following the next scheduled inspection.
“The public can report a pothole or other road defect at https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/services/report-pothole-or-other-surface-defect.”