Clare County Council could find itself facing a raft of claims for damages with residents on a quiet country road blaming potholes for an increasing incidence of back pain among them.
Locals in Ralahine South near Newmarket on Fergus have repeatedly called on Clare County Council to carry out repairs to the road which they say is also responsible for damaging their cars.
The local authority has said however that the road is not a priority for work and has advised residents to apply to the Department of Transport for an allocation that could see work undertaken in their area.
Local resident Niamh Hogan has written to the council repeatedly since late last year about the problems they face on a daily basis. While there are just 8 houses on the road a “considerable amount of traffic” including delivery trucks and farm machinery use the route.
“This road is deteriorating at a very fast rate and has not had any maintenance since the new boundary division. I have met with a number of my neighbours and have discovered that most of us have had increasing back pain over the past few months. I believe the condition of the road is a contributing factor and it really needs to be addressed soon,” Ms Hogan said.
“We’ve asked the council several times to send the ‘patching truck’ out to the area. The road not only has a considerable amount of large sized potholes but is also is breaking up in a large number of places.
It’s understood that at least one claim for damage to a car has already been submitted to the council.
The authority’s Senior Engineer Mr Tom Tiernan has said however the road is not a priority at the moment.
“This is a Local Tertiary Road. Tertiary Roads in general are not listed as high priority routes and subsequently have not found their way onto the strengthening or surface upgrade lists due to the significant reduction in financial resources over the past number of years.
This road would benefit from improvements of this nature but there are tertiary roads in worse condition. While upgrade works won’t be feasible in the near future, some day-to-day maintenance work such as pothole repairs will be carried out shortly,” Mr Tiernan said.
“One possible solution would be for the community depending on the road to apply for a Community Involvement Scheme (if the DTTAS provides an allocation for same in 2015). Such an approach has been very successful in relation to several tertiary roads in East Clare in 2013 and 2014. The Area Engineer has already advised at least one resident on the road of this,” the council added.