Bucket of tar a 'waste of time' to fill Laois potholed roads

Lynda Kiernan


Lynda Kiernan




Some local roads in Laois are gone beyond repair, with extra government cash needed to fix them.

It would take 25 years based on current funding to resurface all the roads in the Mountmellick Borris-in-Ossory municipal district, it was heard at their March meeting.

Laois County Council senior engineer Paul McLoughlin said that  “the sustainability of patching repairs can be questioned”.

“We have 47 percent of the roads in Laois, with a budget of less than €2 million. I could use a multiple of that for the next few years to see progress,” he said.

There is only enough money to repair 4 percent of the roads in the district each year, Cllr Brendan Phelan pointed out.

“Your budget allows for just 4 percent of the roads in our area to be done in a year. To do 100 percent of them would take 25 years. You’re continuously repairing the road and it’s costing far more. If there is any hope of getting an increase  in the roads programme budget, you are going to have to look for something. We were all cut in the downturn, but we have to look for an increase. We are making no impact,” he said.

Cllr John King requested to repair a “badly damaged” road at Ballygehan in upper Ballacolla, including filling potholes and resurfacing it.

“Throwing a bucket of tar into a hole, and expecting it to stay there, is a waste of time. There is only so many patches they can take,” he said.

Cllr Brendan Phelan seconded that motion, saying that “some roads were beyond repair”.

The council agreed to repair that road as necessary.

Cllr Paddy Bracken and Cllr Seamus McDonald both had motions for repairs at Coolagh in Clonaslee.

“The road is in an atrocious state. I’ve been getting representations from residents on this,” Cllr Bracken said.

That road is included in the draft programme of works for 2018. Markings will also be repainted at Conways houses.

Cllr McDonald also asked for repairs at Cush, the Lake Road and Graigueafulla in Clonaslee.

All will be repaired this year.

The road at Strahard, Mountmellick also needed repairs, Cllr David Goodwin said.

“It is in very bad shape, we should look at doing a better job of it in the short term,” he said.

He was supported by Cllr Bracken, who said “it is filled beyond repair. There are 12 or 14 houses down there”.

Council reply is that repairs as required will be carried out. It will also consider including Strahard in future road resurfacing programmes.