Potholes are accidents waiting to happen and the problem needs to be fixed before someone gets killed, members of the rural communities across the country have warned.
Adrian Reynolds from Killeigh, Co Offaly posted a picture to his local group’s Facebook this week of potholed road outside his rural home.
The video shows Adrian struggling to drive through the crumbling road as it is covered with potholes and water on both sides.
“In Ireland we are meant to drive on the left of the road, but here we drive on what’s left,” Adrian told FarmIreland.ie. “It’s pure rubble on the road now. It’s crumbling and all that’s left is muck, gravel and water.
"It’s a fairly extreme situation all over Offaly. The freezing and wet weather we got recently has really made the conditions worse. I’m actually shocked how much it has deteroriated.”
Adrian added that "patchwork" jobs have been done to his road in recent years but wants a whole resurfacing to be done.
“It has completely crumbled and it’s the same situation when you come off all the main roads on to secondary roads, even the main street of Tullamore is in a bad way. Something has to be done soon," he urged.
Meanwhile in west and east Cork, Independent Councillor Mary Linehan-Foley said the issue of potholes in the region is “massive” and that they are “accidents waiting to happen”.
“Areas in east Cork like Midleton, Youghal, Killeagh and Castlemartyr are getting worse and worse and west Cork is also problematic. The roads haven’t been touched in so long. We need the problem to be fixed before someone is killed," she said.
In response to Councillor Robert Beasley's concerns, Kerry County Council admitted there are significant sections of road in the county in need of repair and improvement, but added that most funding for such works is provided by the government and has reduced greatly over the last decade.
Josephine Carroll, who works in Tipperary town for the Irish Wheelchair Association said she can’t remember the last time the main street was resurfaced and said it’s affecting the accessibility of the town for wheelchair users.
“The whole main street and surrounding area of Tipp town is covered in potholes. I don’t remember the last time the main street was tarred," she pointed out.
"I work for the Irish Wheelchair Association, so I’m coming at this issue with two hearts- road safety and accessibility for people who use wheelchairs. At present access is very bad. In this day and age everyone should have access," she said.
In the west, Manus O’Connaire of N59 Action Campaign Group in Connemara, Co Galway said residents feel “forgotten”, as they’ve contacted Minister Shane Ross numerous times over what they say are dangerous road conditions since they set up their group in June 2016 but have received no reply.
"There’s a lack of funding. This should’ve been done when the money was there but in my opinion the Celtic Tiger never came to Connemara. We want emergency funding to be made available but we’ve got no reply from Shane Ross," said the Carna native.
"There’s a big concern at the moment. It’s an epidemic and we really feel as if we’ve been forgotten about."
Fianna Fail TD for Roscommon-Galway, Eugene Murphy said conditions in particular on the Roscommon and Athlone Road are “deplorable”.
“Rural roads are a mess in Roscommon and all over the west and midlands. There’s been few dry days since July and the roads have become really damaged," he said.
“I know that authorities are working hard and a lot of the behind the scene work can’t be seen due to the terrible weather, but it needs to be solved soon."
Earlier this week, the Minister Minister for Transport Shane Ross today announced details of a €417m investment programme for 2018 for regional and local roads.
Overall, 2018 will see a funding increase of about 29pc, and said that while the funding in 2018 will largely continue to support the maintenance of our current regional road network, expenditure on road improvements projects is expected to increase to about €50m.
"A significant number of these projects have a safety focus, including the L2119 Bawnmore realignment in County Galway, the upgrade of R420 at Kilmullen in Laois, Fintra Bridge in Donegal, Robeen Cross junction improvement, County Mayo and R755 Calary Road realignment in County Wicklow.”