WEST Cork has paid out less cash than any other district of the county, when it comes to compensation for vehicles damaged on its roads.
At this week’s County Council meeting, councillors were told that when it comes to vehicles damaged on previously repaired roads, the West Cork Municipal District has the lowest amount of claims paid.
A total of 26 motorists were successful in their claims, amounting to €3,723 for 2015, and up to the end of November 2016, for West Cork.
The figures were released by Cork County Council after a councillor requested a report on the issue of damage to cars, due to the poor state of the roads.
Councillors were told that the insurance section of Cork County Council had received 507 complaints regarding the condition of roads in the period covered, of which 270 were paid out, costing the Council a total of €63,840.
The report also showed that in the Bandon/Kinsale Municipal District, a total of 29 claims were paid, at a total cost of €5,650, while the Blarney/Macroom Municipal District had 26 claims paid – equal to West Cork – but paid out more (€4,599).
The highest amount of claims paid out was in the East Cork Municipal District, with 32 claims paid at a total cost to the Council of €11,772, while the second highest was in Cobh with 47 claims paid at a total cost of €10,966, followed by the Ballincollig/ Carrigaline Municipal District with 42 claims at a total cost of €10,021.
Midleton-based Cllr Anthony Barry said that he was always listening to councillors from West Cork complaining about the roads here, but now it seemed ‘roads in East Cork are worse off’.
Council chief executive Tim Lucey pointed out that only 53% of claims made were actually paid out by the Council, and that they have criteria for the assessment of claims.
The highest number of claims was in areas with most of the traffic, he said.
‘We don’t have the level of funding that we would like for our roads, and ideally the roads should be restrengthened and resurfaced every 20 years, but our budget only allows us restrengthen once every 55 years, and resurface once every 39 years,’ said Mr Lucey.
Several councillors pointed out that there are not enough outdoor staff to carry our repairs to roads, due to the recruitment embargo in place, and they called on the Council to bring in private contractors to carry out much-needed road repairs.
Later, Cork North West TD Aindrias Moynihan told The Southern Star that without significant investment in the rural roads network, more and more claims will be made for compensation arising out of accidents caused by the poor state of the roads.
‘Resurfacing of roads needs to take place much more regularly than every 39 years. Cork County Council itself believes that it should take place every 20 years, but even that wouldn’t be sufficient for some of the busier roads in the county,’ said Deputy Moynihan. ‘A major roads investment programme is needed across the county to ensure that our roads are up to scratch. We are only kicking the problem down the road by not investing now.’