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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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
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%|
|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|
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%|
|Collided with another vehicle||0.4%|
|Caused damage to property||0.4%|
|Caused an injury to a 3rd party||0.2%|