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County Armagh residents tell of pothole trouble as many defects remain unfixed

"I hit a pothole coming out of Camlough and burst my tyre. I got pulled in and was stuck on the side of the road for over an hour trying to get service to call someone..."

Local politicians have raised appeals for members of the public to report all potholes as County Armagh residents continue to be plagued by road defects that often go unnoticed.

At Armagh I, we put the question to the public on social media, asking if any residents in the area had fallen foul of potholes or damaged road surfaces.

We were subsequently inundated with responses, with locals sharing their pothole horror stories, along with pointing out many across County Armagh that have gone unfixed.

One south Armagh resident told Armagh I that she was driving home from her shift in the hospital on Monday night when a pothole caused her tyre to burst.

Martina Leonard, from Keady, said: “I hit a pothole coming out of Camlough and burst my tyre. I got pulled in and was stuck on the side of the road for over an hour trying to get service to call someone, then some kind man stopped and the man from one of the houses helped me.”

Another said: “The roads in Armagh are a joke, from contractors constantly digging them up and poor fixing afterwards.”

A third sent us an image of the wheel of their car, which was damaged following a collision with a pothole.

The problem spans the length and breadth of County Armagh, with Upper Bann MP Carla Lockhart this week asking the public to report potholes following pleas from constituents who had suffered damage to their vehicles.

Carla said: “The recent cold spell with prolonged freezing conditions and snow has only served to exacerbate the number of potholes and other problems with road surfaces across the local network.

“In the last number of days I have had a number of people contact me regarding damage to vehicles, and the DfI Compensation Scheme for these situations.

“I would much prefer that we get roads repaired, rather than deal with the consequences of damage caused by poor roads. That is why I am asking for people right across Upper Bann to get in touch if they have any potholes or subsidence on their local roads, so that I can bring these to the attention of the Department for Infrastructure.

“Roads are normally inspected on a cyclical basis by inspectors from the Department, so issues can go unnoticed for some time unless reported. By providing the information to DfI, we can speed up repairs.”

While many feel that the situation in the county is becoming worse, there remains some solace as the Department for Infrastructure has recently unveiled investment alongside carrying out quick repairs following local pressure.

Sinn Féin councillor Mickey Larkin recently noted the rapid repairs carried out to major defects on the Foughilletra and Station roads in Jonesborough.

The Slieve Gullion councillor said: “I met with DfI to highlight serious road defects on these roads and ask that they be made a priority for repair. The engineer on site was shocked at the damage and agreed with me that in the current conditions, these posed a very real and serious danger for those driving on the roads.

“I’m delighted that these major defects on the road have been repaired so soon after my meeting with DFI. This will come as a great relief to local residents and all who use the road as we continue to face challenging driving conditions.

“I would like to thank DfI for responding so promptly to the concerns we raised and for carrying out these works as soon as they did.”

Road defects at Jonesborough prior to repair

It was also reported last week that seven rural roads in the Armagh area are to benefit from a £1,3 million investment over the next three months.

A total of almost 16 kilometres of resurfacing and drainage work will be carried out, centring on the Drumnahavil Road, Armagh; Doohat Road, Derrynoose; Curragh Lane, Keady; Tivnacree Road, Derrynoose; Crossdall Road, Armagh; Hanslough Road, Middletown; and Glassdrummond Road, Derrynoose.

The news was welcomed by SDLP Councillor Thomas O’Hanlon, who said: “This much-needed investment in our rural roads has long been promised and I want to thank the Section Engineer and his team in the Armagh Office for their work in bringing this scheme to this stage.

“Sometimes it feels like I am never done moaning about these roads, but thankfully it has paid off.”

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