Potholes in Derry and Strabane lead to £46k compo bill - 23,777 road defects recorded

Almost 24,000 road defects were identified for repair in Derry and Strabane in the last three years contributing to a £44,228 bill for vehicle compensation over the period.

Potholes, cracks and depressions on local highways have increased exponentially since 2016, it has emerged.

And the bill for compensating motorists for damage vehicles has also rocketed, the ‘Journal’ has learned.

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Between 2017 and 2019 the number of surface defects recorded for repair rose from 5,057 to 8,178 - a 62 per cent jump (3121 extra defects).

The increase in vehicle compensation claims was even higher.

The amount of money paid out for claims in Derry and Strabane increased from £7,859.02 in the 2016/17 financial year to £28,091.85 in 2018/19.

That represents an eye-watering 257 per cent increase or £20,232,83 in cash terms.

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Over the three years there were 23,777 recorded defects contributing to a combined compensation bill of £44,227.96.

Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon, releasing the details, said the data referred to the number of “carriageway, hard shoulder and layby surface defects (which includes potholes, cracking, depressions etc.) recorded and listed for repair, in each of the last three years (1st January 2017 to 31st December 2019), by council area”.

The Minister revealed the compensation bill when quizzed by Foyle DUP MLA Gary Middleton.

Pay-outs were broken down by Section Office area, broadly the same as Council areas. “The NICS accounting system does not differentiate between the causes of incidents which result in vehicle damage claims,” she warned.

Ms. Mallon said claims received in a financial year are not always concluded in the same financial year.