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Potholed Newforge Lane causing difficulties for drivers but private owners’ delay in attending to issues leads them to a dead end

Businesses and locals on road to nowhere

By Paul Ainsworth

A ROAD in one of South Belfast’s most exclusive residential areas has been described as being in the “worst state imaginable” due to a lack of street repairs.

Leafy Newforge Lane, off the Malone Road is in an area home to some of the most desirable addresses in the North, yet the road, which is partly private owned, is full of potholes causing misery for motorists.

A firm based at a business park at the end of the road has complained of damage to its vehicles forced to drive along the pitted lane, in one case leaving a driver with a bill of £700.

Most of the lane remains privately owned, with the rest adopted by the Department of Regional Development’s Roads Service. However, before any further adoption of the road for upkeep by Roads Service can take place, the rest of the road needs to be repaired by the private owners.

Two local councillors who saw the condition of the road first hand, expressed shock, and called for those responsible to do what they can to fix the problem.

“It’s in one of the worst states imaginable,” Alliance Councillor Tom Ekin said.

Sinn Féin’s Máirtín Ó Muilleoir added: “We are asking for the landlords concerned to fulfill their responsibilities in making this road suitable for use by both pedestrians and drivers.”

Business owner Peter O’Connor, of Macmotech, based in the adjoining business park said: “Despite numerous calls to land owners, residents committees and residents going back to November 2011, we have not had any reparation or commitment to reparation works to bring the road back to suitable standard. The state of the road could result in there being a serious accident as motorists try to avoid holes, which could therefore lead to collisions with vans pedestrians, runners, cyclists and walls.”

The South Belfast News contacted the landlord responsible for part of the road, but no one was available for comment.

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