Sinn Féin Councillor Daniel Baker has called on the Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon to act to ensure that roads in the Colin area are safe after a car burst a tire and ended up on the opposite side of the road as a result of hitting a pothole in the Lagmore area at the weekend.  Cllr Baker said that Lagmore has a number of roads that have been ‘neglected’ over the past number of years. 

“I held a site visit with the Department for Infrastructure (DfI) last May where they agreed that a stretch of road on Lagmore Avenue would be resurfaced. We are now in the following February and the work still hasn’t been carried out,” he said.

Detailing his frustration, Cllr Baker also questioned the quality of tarmac being used.

“It is really frustrating for me as a representative but also the grade of the tarmac throughout all of Lagmore and Mount Eagles is poor so we have small holes which are neglected and form large potholes six months later.

“On Friday it came to a head when a car hit one of the potholes and busted a tire which nearly caused an accident. Thankfully there were no cars coming in the opposite direction as the car ended up on the other side of the road.

“That can’t be put down to bad driving it is down to the poor condition of our roads. It is the responsibility of DfI to ensure that the roads are safe and I am calling on them to get out and get our roads up to standard and stop coming and doing stopgaps. We constantly have a situation whereby DfI say that that hole isn’t going to be big enough to justify fixing and then leaving it for a couple of months until cars are being damaged. It is just not good enough.”

Calling on the Minister to act, he added: “The DfI can’t hide behind there’s no Minister in place any more or there’s no funding. They need to find it and if there is none then the Minister needs to ask for more. This has to be a priority. However this is not the only issue in relation to the roads around Lagmore."

Cllr Baker detailed how two and a half years ago DfI agreed to carry out work upgrading some of the verges along Lagmore Avenue which has still not been carried out.

A Departmental spokesperson said: “The Department carries out a programme of cyclical maintenance safety inspections on all of the road network. Roads in the Lagmore area are inspected on a three month cycle and the last inspection took place at the beginning of November when any defects meeting the intervention level were issued for repair.  

“Following reports last week on further defects, officials attended the site promptly and identified a number of potholes that required immediate attention. These defects have since been made safe with permanent repairs to be carried out in the coming weeks.  A further scheduled safety inspection is also programmed for next week.  

“Departmental officials have also assessed Lagmore Avenue for the provision of crossing points along the grass verges, and have agreed to include a dropped kerb scheme in a future programme of works.”