Friday 18 January 2019

Eddie Cunningham: 'Potholes are so bad on Irish roads that people even say they'd grudgingly pay more tax to get rid of them'

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Stock photo
Eddie Cunningham

Eddie Cunningham

Last week's piece on potholes jarred - if you'll forgive the pun.

I've had a stream of complaints from people saying their local roads have deteriorated dramatically over the past year.

And they see no reason, considering all the taxes they are already paying, that they should have to stump up more of their hard-earned money.

A minority, nonetheless, said things have become so bad that they would grudgingly pay a little more in tax to rid their roads of the hidden gouges.

I've a feeling this is going to become a real issue in rural areas, particularly where traffic volumes might be relatively low but people still need and deserve a decent surface to get around.

The fact of the matter is that roads need constant maintenance and many of ours have been left to their fate for a long time now. We do need to get our heads together on this.

There are two major issues: safety and vehicle condition. Safety - people swerving to avoid a pothole hit, for example. Vehicle condition - tyres, rims, wheels and suspensions are all being whacked. They are safety issues too, of course.

Keep your pothole reports coming.

We might visit a few to highlight just how bad they are in your area, so let us know at

* Opel are renewing contracts with all dealers in their network as they embark on a new era.

* Motorists in Britain are more likely to opt for hybrid than diesel when they buy their next car.

I wonder if the same holds true for here.

From queries coming into our Help Desk, there is strong anecdotal evidence of people thinking deeply about such a move.

The British mindset is reflected in a survey compiled by the National Franchised Dealer Association.

* Congratulations to Bob Montgomery on his new book, 'Motor Assembly in Ireland', which was launched earlier this week. We had an excerpt from it last week and people seem to love it. Best of luck.

* So diesel, not Brexit, lands the first heavy punch on a car maker with the announcement that Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) is to cut 1,000 jobs and reduce production at two of its UK factories.

It's tough news for those involved. I hope it is not a forerunner of more for other marques.

The slump in demand for diesel cars, because of higher taxes and tougher emission regulations, is being blamed for the move.

The company, which has expanded model line-ups dramatically and is famous for its diesels, is to lay off agency workers at its Solihull plant and move more than 360 people to Solihull from its nearby Castle Bromwich plant.

A JLR spokesman confirmed reports from last week about the potential jobs losses. "We are not renewing the contracts of 1,000 agency workers at Solihull," he said.

About 90pc of JLR sales in Britain are diesel.

Solihull builds the Range Rover, Range Rover Sport and Range Rover Velar, alongside the Land Rover Discovery and the Jaguar F-Pace. The Jaguar F-Type, XE, XF and XJ models are produced at Castle Bromwich.

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