Sign our Pothole Petition here

AA Ireland has launched an online petition calling on local authorities to make pot hole repairs a priority. All road users are asked to add their signatures by clicking here and to circulate the following link: www.aaireland.ie/pothole to other concerned motorists and cyclists.

 . This is in response to continued complaints received about poor roads countrywide and the seeming inability of local authorities to have them repaired. 

“We had a terrible winter, and the freeze did a huge amount of damage.” Says Director of Policy Conor Faughnan. “Our Patrols are attending cars every day that have had damage or punctures as a result. We have sympathy for cash-strapped local authorities but the issue is just too serious. It is costing us money but it is also potentially extremely dangerous.”

The AA particularly highlights the risks to cyclists and motorcyclists, who are most vulnerable on our pot-hole riddled roads.  “If you are on two wheels you are really depending on good quality road surfaces.” Says Faughnan.  “Swerving at the last second to avoid a pot hole can be lethal; so can hitting one.”

The AA accepts that the winter damage was an unforeseen event coming at a time when resources are very tight. However it also comes at a time when drivers are paying more tax than ever before on their expensive fuel. Given the enormous contribution made to the exchequer by Ireland’s road users, the AA believes that they are entitled to have these necessary road repairs made a priority.

The problem of damaged roads is countrywide but some counties are more badly affected than others. According to AA research carried out by the AA at the end of January (see below), the problem is particularly acute in counties Roscommon, Wexford, Monaghan, Longford and Mayo. The lowest number of problems were reported in Dublin, but even in the capital motorists have been complaining of very poor surfaces in some areas.

Motorists are also asked to report particularly shabby roads and send in pothole photographs to the AA via the email address publicaffairs@aaireland.ie.  The AA also stresses that potholes are degenerative and that failure to address the problem now will lead to heftier repair bills for tax payers in the long run.

“If your roof is leaking at home, you don’t put the repair off for a year to save money because you know it will get worse and will cost you more.” Says Faughnan. “The same is true for a damaged road. Fixing them now, before they get worse, is the least expensive option in the long run.”

Both AA Patrols and AA Car Servicing technicians report persistently high volumes of pothole related repairs since the beginning of 2011.  “Our Patrols have seen a bumper crop of punctures where the wheel rim has been bent out of shape.” Says Faughnan “Even hitting a moderate pothole driving within the speed limit can do this sort of damage.”

The AA also reports high numbers of AA Members and Car Servicing customers are also presenting with damage to their steering alignment and shock absorbers.

“Given how cratered our roads have become, we remind drivers to slow right d

down when the road surface is poor.”  Says Faughnan. “Speed will make any impact worse and tyre damage for example, unless sustained during an accident, will be viewed by your insurer as wear and tear so it’s in your financial interest to regulate your driving to deal with potholes.”

Further information on how to minimize and recognize pothole damage is available under the ‘Motoring Advice’ section of www.aaireland.ie

CLICK HERE TO SIGN OUR POTHOLE PETITION

Ends

Notes to the editor;

AA research carried out 21-25 January, as reported in AA press release 31st January 2011 (see http://tiny.cc/iy2oy)

Fig. 1 (A) Last time respondents hit a pothole or a damaged road surface which necessitated a garage repair to the car and/or a call-out to the AA (Based on 21,388 responses)

Frequency % of respondents
Has happened since the start of 2011 15.7%
Between the start of September 2010 and the end of December 2010 11.7%
Between the start of June and the end of August 2010 2.1%
Between the start of January and the end of May 2010 4.6%
During 2009 5.2%
Prior to 2009 9.7%
Do not recall 12.3%
Has never occurred 38.7%

(B) Last time respondents hit a pothole or a damaged road surface which necessitated a garage repair to the car and/or a call-out to the AA on a county by county basis. (Based on 21,388 responses)

County Since start of 2011 Between start Sept  & end of Dec ‘10 Between start June & end Aug ‘10 Between start Jan & end May ‘10 During ‘09 Prior to ‘09 Number of responses
Carlow 13.9% 12.9% 2.6% 3.6% 9.3% 12.4% 194
Cavan 18.0% 17.0% 3.6% 1.5% 6.2% 12.9% 194
Clare 20.4% 15.2% 0.8% 5.2% 5.0% 10.5% 382
Cork 18.1% 13.0% 2.1% 6.7% 5.8% 7.1% 2189
Donegal 16.7% 14.8% 2.2% 4.4% 4.4% 8.5% 317
Dublin 12.0% 9.2% 1.8% 2.7% 4.0% 9.9% 7345
Galway 19.7% 14.0% 2.7% 4.8% 6.6% 8.9% 884
Kerry 18.2% 13.9% 3.1% 5.6% 5.6% 10.5% 324
Kildare 13.6% 11.4% 2.2% 5.6% 5.4% 12.7% 1287
Kilkenny 17.6% 13.3% 4.0% 7.2% 6.1% 7.6% 278
Laois 14.8% 10.9% 1.6% 3.9% 7.0% 8.6% 257
Leitrim 18.6% 9.3% 2.1% 6.2% 3.1% 9.3% 97
Limerick 14.0% 13.4% 3.4% 6.8% 6.2% 10.0% 680
Longford 20.8% 13.3% 2.5% 1.7% 3.3% 11.7% 120
Louth 18.6% 11.4% 1.1% 5.5% 8.1% 13.4% 456
Mayo 21.1% 12.3% 3.7% 7.0% 3.7% 8.9% 383
Meath 14.9% 15.5% 3.1% 5.5% 7.2% 12.0% 902
Monaghan 21.2% 18.6% 1.8% 4.4% 6.2% 8.8% 113
Offaly 18.8% 13.4% 2.0% 4.5% 4.5% 5.4% 202
Roscommon 23.4% 12.4% 1.0% 3.3% 7.2% 6.7% 209
Sligo 19.3% 8.1% 0.9% 5.4% 4.0% 11.7% 223
Tipperary 17.3% 13.7% 1.9% 7.3% 7.9% 7.9% 467
Waterford 12.3% 17.6% 2.5% 5.9% 6.4% 6.6% 438
Wexford 23.0% 13.9% 1.9% 8.5% 5.3% 6.6% 531
Wicklow 17.6% 9.9% 2.1% 5.1% 5.2% 11.5% 849

Fig. 2 Damaged sustained to the vehicles of poll respondents within the last 12 months as a result of potholes or a damaged road surfaces.  (Based on 8,133 responses)

Damaged my vehicle tyre rims 55.8%
Had a puncture 55.2%
Damaged the steering alignment 47.3%
Dented the undercarriage of my vehicle 10.0%
Damaged the shock absorbers / shock absorption system 21.8%
Damaged bodywork 7.2%
Collided with another vehicle 0.4%
Was injured 0.4%
Caused damage to property 0.4%
Caused an injury to a 3rd party 0.2%

 

7 comments

  1. As an AA member myself (Jan White- club sec), I wish to protest about the horrendous state of the roads on my own behalf and all those who cycle. Around here, they use the patcher which is totally useless as the first vehicle over the newly patched area just throws it all out again! A total waste of money and time – money that could be put towards doing the job properly.
    So far we have had no injuries – except to bikes – but I have a feeling it will happen during the summer!

  2. My Car (Citreon C3) had to have new wheel (€60) my husbands Toyota Avensis new wheel (€100) even though wheels were replaced last year. I also had to have gear box cable repairs (€400). We service our cars every year and have never had so many problems – my husband was told his other 3 tyres will need replacing shortly at a further cost of €300 as they are constantly out of alignment due to potholes.

    Surely if money was put into repairing roads it would 1. Create jobs 2. Create tax revenue and cut the cost of Social Welfare payments 3. Be better for tourism 4. People would spend more in shops due to having wages rather than dole 5. People would be able to plan long term as they would have jobs i.e. Mortgages/loans it would make sense to do this rather than pay people to be in the dole

  3. It is obvious that local authorities cannot cope with the number of potholes. As a previous comment mentions the repairs aren’t worth the cost of the tarmac. The roads are becoming less safe on a daily basis, and if the government does not have the finances to repair the roads TO A DECENT STANDARD, then there should be a national review of all the speed limits applied to the roads. At least if people are driving more slowly they have slightly longer to react to a pot hole.

  4. Just forked out E150 for a new tyre after hitting pothole near Balbriggan
    on the old NI road northbound. stay off this road to hell if you can,it’s a shambles.

  5. This is my first time i visit here. I found so many interesting stuff in your blog especially its discussion. From the tons of comments on your articles, I assume I am not the only one having all the enjoyment here! Sustain the good work.

  6. Last Sunday (8/01/12) while out cycling, I hit a pothole on Blackhorse Avenue neat the Phoenix Park in Dublin. The pothole was full of water, and as there was a lot of water on the road at the time I didn’t see it until it was too late. I was thrown from the bike. Fortunately, no bones were broken, but I suffered severe bruising, and am experiencing some difficulty walking and climbing steps. If a motorcyclist hit this, the consequences could be very serious!

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