Monday 10 December 2018

Residents' rocky road rage

Residents are told road is not under council's remit

Residents of Knockanure Lane, Bunclody survey the terrible potholes
Residents of Knockanure Lane, Bunclody survey the terrible potholes

Pádraig Byrne

Residents living on Knockanure Lane in Bunclody are at their wits end as giant potholes on the laneway is causing significant damage to their cars. The laneway provides access to some thirteen houses and at the moment, the road surface is what Cllr John O'Rourke describes as being 'worse than what you'd see in Downtown Calcutta'.

While the residents have been in contact with Wexford County Council regarding the issue several times in recent years, they have constantly been told that Knockanure Lane is a private laneway and is outside of the council's remit. However, at the time of being built, five of the newer houses on the laneway were charged a levy of €1,000 to carry out improvements to roads facilitating the development.

'We paid those levies of €1,000 and we pay property tax and road tax,' said resident Grace Kenny. 'And still we're being told by the council that it's not their problem. It's not even about the money as such, it's about the principle. We've paid a levy for the maintenance of the roads and yet we're in a situation that we're dreading going out in the laneway at all it's that bad. I really feel for my father. He's awaiting a hip replacement and everyone one of these bumps must be agony for him. There's no way of avoiding these potholes.'

Residents had previously chipped in to try and deal with the problem by filling in the potholes with chippings, however, Grace says that despite their best efforts, when the bad weather comes in all that work is undone and they are back to square one. She says that the only option remaining is to completely resurface the road once and for all.

Apart from the damage being caused to residents cars, Grace having recently just spent €800 to fix her own, major concerns have been expressed about how dangerous it would be if an ambulance needed to get up to the houses. A total of 27 cars use the laneway regularly, along with the postman who rates it one of the worst laneways in the district.

Cllr John O'Rourke said that the situation was disgraceful and called on the council to carry out resurfacing works on the laneway immediately.

'It's a disgrace,' he blasted. 'I travelled up and down the lane visiting the residents there twice and the following day I had to book my jeep in to have the tracking done on it. It was pulling to the left after travelling up and down the road. The case scenario is that if this is a private laneway as these people have been told, then why were they charged €1,000 for use of the carriageway and upkeep?'

'These people are paying their property tax like everyone else and they need to see a return for what they are paying. I understand that the property tax was increased to pump into job creation, but people need to see some return for their money and it should be spent on these roadways and other important infrastructure.'

Enniscorthy Guardian