'Like the Somme after the battle': 

'Like the Somme after the battle': 
Cork City Council workers filling in a pothole in the Glen area of the city today.Pic: Brian Lougheed

MORE than one complaint per day was made about potholes in Cork city over an 18-month period, The Echo can reveal.

Information obtained from City Hall shows that between January 2019 and June 2020, 885 complaints were made about potholes across Cork city.

City councillors have called for greater investment as well as local decision making processes to tackle the issue.

Councillor Terry Shannon (FF) said members of the public have compared parts of Cork city to ‘the Somme after the battle’.

“I’m surprised there aren’t more complaints - it’s a huge issue,” he said.

“I just got a call from a man in Blackrock who said the area is like the Somme after the battle.

“Previously, we had a roads programme where the budget was broken up into traffic calming, footpath renewals, estate resurfacing and more,” he added.

“That all went by the wayside and during the crash, the money for that type of work just wasn’t there.

“Now, we’re playing catch-up.” Councillor Shannon said roads are going from bad to worse because of repair practices that only temporarily address the issue.

“We see it around the city - a pothole pops up and a fella’ with a shovel comes along, pours some cement in and taps it down with the shovel - that doesn’t work,” he said.

“I know other local authorities have machinery that cuts out the offending area and properly addresses it.

“It will involve capital outlay but we need to invest in machinery like that because it’ll save us money in the long run,” he added.

Fellow city councillor Dan Boyle (Green Party) called for a national policy to address the poor level of resources for road maintenance.

“Potholes are a constant problem,” he said.

“It’s been a negative cycle because you need the resources to do the repairs.

“Instead, band aid repairs are being carried out that only eliminates the pothole for a short amount of time, and it reappears in no time at all,” he added.

“There has to be a national policy around this - a lot of money has gone towards new road development but, in recent decades, nothing close to the same degree of investment has gone towards maintenance, particularly in urban areas, and that’s why we have those problems.

“Potholes are a problem caused by traffic volumes and the types of vehicles using roads so it has to be a mix of traffic and road management while also encouraging people to use different forms of transport as well.” 

Mr Boyle also called for decisions on pothole spending to be made on a local basis, including community groups, rather than relying on a centralised system and waiting for resources from Dublin.

City Hall was contacted for comment.

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