Northern Ireland politician alerts drivers to potholes using spray paint

Disgruntled politicians in Northern Ireland are determined to take matters into their own hands (whilst clutching aerosol canisters it would seem) and highlight what they see as a growing pothole problem blotting the local tarmac landscape.

Clearly not content with the efforts being made by local councils to tackle the increasing pothole issues which are cropping up across Northern Ireland’s road network, one leading MLA (Member of the Legislative Assembly) has given advanced notice of his intentions to paint yellow markings around what he describes as being tantamount to ‘craters’, ensuring that drivers are aware of the dangers which lie ahead.

As a member of the Assembly’s Regional Development Committee, Ukip MLA, David McNarry said that he’s ready, willing and able to grasp the pothole nettle and admits that his plans to roll up his sleeves and muck in is to aid the department whose responsibility it is, rather than necessarily telling them how to do their job.

McNarry says; “We are going to identify the potholes, and we’re going to spray them. By spraying them, we are also going to help public safety.” The frustrated MLA went on to say; “Our roads are a disgrace. These potholes are huge. On some roads they are more like craters. People will be able to see these yellow markings.”

Further steps obviously need to be taken to stop the rot on Northern Irish road networks, as it’s no coincidence that latest research has confirmed that the authorities are being forced to recompense motorists for damage caused to their vehicles by these potholes on average 10 times a week.

Personal injury claims levelled against the authorities cited as being responsible for the upkeep of roads across Northern Ireland is undoubtedly on the rise, with this recent study shedding light on the underlying fact that some 1,600 road traffic accident claims have been successful in the past 3 years alone, with the Department for Regional Development ultimately footing these bills.

According to the report, a staggering 773 claims pursued by drivers whose vehicles were subjected to damage caused by potholes were settled by the DRD, which equates to more than 2 per day over this period. In a separate report disclosed of late, a BBC Northern Ireland programme found that a sum of £7.5 million had been paid out by the DRD since 2012, with regards to personal injury claims, although this also took into account cases of trips, slips and falls acknowledged on pavements as well as road surfaces.

In the 3 years between April 2012 and April 2015, a total of 2,461 personal injury claims were made against the Department for Regional Development in direct relation to potholes, with a figure of 1,643 resulting in pay-outs to aggrieved parties.

These statistics were made available to the public by the DRD in official response to a question which was put to the Assembly from UUP MLA, Ross Hussey according to the Belfast Telegraph. Returning to McNarry’s more personal crusade to, if not rid the roads of potholes then to outline a clear stratedgy, the impassioned Ukip MLA (in noting the DRD’s setting aside of £4 million for compensation claims in the current year) implied that perhaps the root cause of the problem needed addressing, rather than the effect when he offered; “Why not do the sensible thing and put the £4m into actually fixing the problem.”

For its part a Transport NI spokesperson countered; “The service that can be provided ultimately depends on the available budget, with the highest priority defects targeted first.”

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