Driver fury as potholes cause havoc

January 22nd, 2018 7:10 AM

By Kieran O'Mahony

Julia McMurray steps into an offending pothole in Béal na Bláth.

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UP to 30 furious motorists suffered damage to their cars and tyres as a result of large potholes on West Cork roads last week.

A particularly large pothole at Gaggin crossroads on the N71 outside Bandon last Friday evening week, during dark and wet conditions, resulted in as many as 11 motorists pulling into the hard shoulder to change tyres. 

The situation was  described as hazardous and gardaí arrived on the scene to prevent an accident and to warn oncoming traffic.

One driver even became a ‘pothole hero’ as he helped change tyres for several motorists in what were described as treacherous conditions, and now one thankful motorist is looking to find this man to thank him.

Up to 10 drivers also hit a huge crater beyond the monument at Béal na Bláth, with several having reported damage to their actual wheels. 

It was the same situation on the R-587 between Enniskeane and Kilmichael, where drivers described a pothole there as ‘nothing less than a crater.’

At a meeting of the Western Committee this week in Dunmanway, councillors once again called for more funding and extra staff to combat any further deterioration of the roads in West Cork. 

Cllr Gillian Coughlan (FF) said that they can spend millions on promoting tourism, agriculture and business here in West Cork ‘but none of this will matter if our roads are destroyed.’

Cork County Council said that its staff had filled the pothole at Gaggin on Friday evening at approximately 5.30pm – as soon as they became aware of it – and they had also filled the potholes at Béal na Bláth on Saturday and Monday.

One motorist told The Southern Star that she is down almost €400 after hitting a pothole at Béal na Bláth last Saturday evening, and claimed the pothole had been evident for at least a week.

Drivers who suffered damage to their cars can claim through Cork County Council’s Insurance Department and a spokesperson said that ‘each claim is dealt with on a case-by-case basis.’

Meanwhile, a road on Cape Clear opened up exposing water pipes, after a downpour last week. 

Regarding urgent road repairs, Cork County Council said it is updating and preparing its Restoration Improvement and Restoration Maintenance Programme for 2018 and the works proposed will include resurfacing and upgrading of a number of roads across West Cork.

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