Pressing requirement for roads strategy says Armstrong

Alliance Infrastructure spokesperson Kellie Armstrong MLA has said the revelation hundreds of thousands of pounds have been spent paying out claims for damage caused by potholes shows the requirement for a road maintenance strategy.

A total of £210,000 has been paid by the Department for Infrastructure following claims for damages to vehicles caused as a result of potholes and other road maintenance failings during the financial year 2015/16. Areas with the highest claims include Mid-Ulster, Antrim and Newtownabbey, and Lisburn and Castlereagh. The information was presented to the Assembly’s Infrastructure Committee today (Wednesday).

“This is a sizable amount of public money being spent by the Department at a time when belts are being tightened across our society,” said the Strangford MLA.

“In addition, the question has to be asked how many of these vehicle damage claims also led to people being injured? It is one thing saving money by doing by doing just in time repairs but the human cost could be more.

“It is clear the Department for Infrastructure needs to develop and implement a strategic plan to ensure the upkeep of roads. By doing so, it will mean fewer repairs are needed in future and less public money will be paid out, as fewer claims will be made.

“It is not enough to simply pay out hundreds of thousands of pounds in claims each year, while fixing roads patchwork as you go. If the Minister dares to be forward-thinking, he can make sure more efficient roads maintenance while saving the public purse a substantial amount of money.”

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