After a mild winter, damage to vehicles in Ireland as a result of potholes is down on last year, according to the results of an AA poll of more than 20,000 people.
During the AA’s online poll conducted at the end of January just gone, 11 per cent of respondents said that they have sustained damage to their vehicle since the start of the year, having hit a pothole. This is compared to a figure of 16 per cent during the same period last year, the AA reports. Potholes are still a serious problem, says director of policy Conor Faughnan. “Our patrols attended over 1,400 call outs relating to punctures and warped wheels during January alone,” Mr Faughnan said. “The roads were badly affected during the big freeze events of 2010 so this time last year they were in terrible shape. While a little better, it is still an endemic problem in 2012.”
The AA submitted more than 10,000 pothole petition signatures to local authorities around the country last summer urging repairs to be carried out. Since then significant changes in the pothole county leader board have been recorded. Last year counties Wexford and Roscommon appeared to be worst afflicted with 23 per cent of respondents from each county saying their car had necessitated repairs as a result of a pothole.
This year however drivers in counties Monaghan (23 per cent ), Cavan (19 per cent ), and Clare (19 per cent ) have emerged as worst affected based on the AA’s poll results. Somewhat correlating with this, Monaghan and Cavan county councils were well down the list last year of intended total road maintenance allocations for 2011. Clare County Council did fare slightly better however, ranking 10th out of 33. Wexford, which was one of the most complained about counties last year through the mechanics of both the AA poll and subsequent pothole petition, ranks seventh this year, while Roscommon is now mid table. The lowest percentage of incidents was again recorded in Dublin and were down from 12 per cent during January 2011 to seven per cent this year.