Meeting with Department for Infrastructure organised with NI council over pothole ‘crisis’

Derry council are to meet Department for Infrastructure over the issue of potholes (PA)

Andrew Balfour, Local Democracy Reporter

Derry City and Strabane District Councillors will meet with Department for Infrastructure (DfI) officials to discuss the district’s pothole “crisis”.

At a full council meeting on Wednesday, January 31, People Before Profit Councillor Shaun Harkin proposed calling a meeting to “discuss action on the crisis levels of dangerous potholes”.

“We all saw the reports in local papers about potholes right across the district,” councillor Harkin said.

“Last year nearly 11,000 potholes were reported on our roads, with nearly 2,000 between November and this month, which is an absolute disgrace.

“DfI told us that budgetary pressures meant they cannot carry out systematic repairs, with only the worst potholes of a certain depth being fixed.

“Our road network system is in bits, any potholes that are filled in come back in a worse state, more and more claims are probably going to go to Dfi for damaged cars, and there’s an issue of road safety.

“The budgetary pressures are real, but we need to be proactive to get them to do more. We need to have discussion with DfI officials and impress on them that what they’re doing now isn’t good enough.

“People make fun of potholes, but this is serious now in terms of our roads.”

SDLP Councillor Jason Barr said the issue of potholes was worse still in areas surrounding Derry City.

Councillor Barr said: “If you think city roads are bad, you want to see the B roads and C roads in the rural areas. They are being filled and coming back ten times worse.”

Sinn Féin councillor Aisling Hutton said that while parties did have regular meetings to receive updates around potholes from DfI, she fully supported a council meeting to discuss the issue further.

The council will contact DfI to arrange a meeting outside scheduled council and committee business.

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