Northern Ireland

Car damage claims against Roads Service rise

Conor Murphy
Image caption Conor Murphy released the figures after a question by Patsy McGlone.

The number of people claiming against the Roads Service after their cars were damaged by bad roads has doubled in the last five years.

There were more than 1,000 claims in 2005 and more than 2,000 in 2010.

Regional Development Minister, Conor Murphy, released the figures after a question by SDLP MLA Patsy McGlone.

In Omagh claims increased from 52 in 2005 to 250 in 2010. There was only one claim last year in Strangford.

The highest number of claims last year were in Newry and Mourne, where 278 people's cars were damaged by bad road surfaces

Cookstown also saw a dramatic rise in the number of claims which went up from 37 in 2005 to 189 in 2010.

In a statement, a Roads Service spokesperson said there was "no doubt that the coldest December for over 120 years" had an impact on Northern Ireland's road network.

It said repeated freezing and thawing cycles had caused "many carriageways to split and potholes to form" and Roads Service was giving priority to the repair of the affected roads.

"Roads Service teams and contractors across the region are working to ensure roads are kept safe and are progressing programmes of work targeting the most severely affected roads," the statement added.

"In preparation for the winter period and the predicted impact to roads across the region, since October 2010 an additional £8.5m has been allocated for roads maintenance and an additional £9m was also allocated to the Department for Regional Development for roads' structural maintenance and road improvements in the February monitoring round."