Two pedestrians were injured when they accidentally stepped into potholes – they were among 190 complaints about potholes lodged with Galway City Council last year.
Details of the incidents were released to the Galway City Tribune following a Freedom of Information request.
One woman’s foot got stuck in a small pothole on the public road just off the footpath outside Hughes’ Opticians in Woodquay.
“She fell over hurting her ankle, leg and hip and also stinging her hands,” according to an official complaint.
Another woman reportedly damaged her ankle when stepping out of her car in front of the bottle banks at Westside Shopping Centre. She advised the local authority to make it safe “as soon as possible”.
The incidents – last January and August – were among the 190 official complaints logged with Galway City Council in 2018, which related to potholed roads.
Details of the incidents, made over the phone and by email to Customer Services at City Hall, or through the website Fixyourstreet.com, were released to the Galway City Tribune.
A concerned parent reported a child’s injury due to potholes at the rear of homes at St James’ Road in Mervue. The complainant reported how a boy “had a bad fall off his bike due to a pothole and he cut all his face and legs”. This was their third time reporting the potholes in Mervue – but the problem was getting worse.
“I also have two other kids who play out here and got bikes for Christmas but as I said before it is a health hazard and it’s only a matter of time before there is a serious accident,” the Council was warned.
Another complainant reported sustaining a twisted ankle “several times” in a large pothole at a kerb in Hollygrove, Renmore.
The vast majority of the reports of potholes were logged by motorists – many lodged complaints, while others were just alerting the Council to the damaged roads.
A complaint was lodged about the state of Rahoon Road near Buaile Beag National School. “I use this road on a daily basis accessing local sports facilities and doing a school run twice daily. In addition to local traffic there is a high volume of traffic using this road as an alternative route towards the city. The road has become a series of bumps and hollows. At low speed it would be easy to lose control of a car with a risk of injury to road users. There is also risk of damage to vehicles,” the complaint read.
Several residents’ associations contacted the Council about the state of the roads throughout the course of 2018.
Cherry Park Residents’ Association, Westbrook Residents’ Association and Cashel Mara Residents’ Association all made representations about repairs needed to roads while Chairperson of Castlegar Residents’ Association complained of potholes along Village Road in Castlegar.
There were also complaints about potholes near Castlegar primary school in Ballindooley, linking the N17 with the N84.
One motorist, whose tyre burst in Ballindooley, informed the Council of “gaping craters” that needed to be filled.
A separate complaint about the same road reported about a series of potholes and how vehicles “have to swerve across the road to avoid them causing a traffic hazard.” Cars were also said to be “swerving to avoid” a pothole outside Kelehan’s Pub in Bushypark.
Motorists were also “swerving onto the wrong side of the road” to avoid damaging their cars in potholes at the entrance to the Fionnuisce estate in Doughiska.
“Especially the potholes on the bend as drivers have to drive on the wrong side of the road coming around the bend to avoid the potholes and every day there is almost an accident at this location,” the complaint warned.
Potholes in Beach Drive and Beach Avenue in Renmore were described as “massive” and “dangerous” by one complainant.
One complaint referred to a “bump of tar” along the Headford Road, near the pedestrian lights at Tesco, that needs to be “flattened down” because “cyclists could be injured it’s so high”.
In some instances, at various points across the city, there were repeat complaints, with people claiming that potholes that had been filled previously had since returned.
An undertaker and a driving school are among the local businesses who have made official complaints about potholed city roads last year.
A local disability charity has also complained about the threat potholes poses to its service users.
Creaven Driving School, based in Corrandulla, complained to Galway City Council about potholes at Clybaun Road and Circular Road.
A driving instructor with the school claimed that one of his student’s tyres “had a blowout” during a driving test last November, which had to be cancelled. The pothole in question had been filled-in numerous times before, but “when it rains it is not visible” and “it is very dangerous”. The student had to re-sit the driving test, and the car was damaged.
O’Flaherty’s Funeral Parlour complained to the City Council about potholes on Munster Avenue.
Last November, after previous requests for potholes to be filled were not acted on, O’Flaherty’s queried whether legally it could privately fill potholes outside the funeral parlour. The complaint lodged with the local authority noted that potholes were “a danger to people attending funerals”.
Meanwhile, staff at Ability West, a charity that works for people with intellectual disability, complained to the Council about a “considerable dangerous pothole” on Snipe Avenue in Newcastle, which had the potential to cause damage to cars and busses.
“I would also like to point out that we have a number of service users that are visually impaired and could easily slip, trip and fall due to the numerous potholes. This needs to be addressed as soon as possible to avoid any injuries or damage,” the complaint read.
The gripes about potholes were among 190 logged with the local authority last year, according to documents released to Galway City Tribune under Freedom of Information (FOI).
Other businesses and customers of businesses alerted Council staff to potholes in certain areas in 2018.
Customers complained of potholes “the size of a crater” outside of McD’s Christmas Shop in Ballybane last December; while there were also reports of potholes outside the Western Hotel on Prospect Hill, Des Kavanagh Electrical on Clybaun Road and outside Kennedy and Fitzgerald Solicitors on O’Brien’s Bridge. There were several complaints about the state of the roads within Liosban Industrial Estate, which was referred by one complainant as a “dirt track that passes for a street”; Ballybane Industrial Estate and along the dual carriageway leading to Galway Racecourse in Ballybrit.
Other areas featuring in the complaints logged included Taylor’s Hill/Maunsells Road junction; Tuam Road; Glenview Drive in Riverside; Raleigh Row/Palmyra Avenue; Distillery Road; Tonabrucky Cross; Wellpark; Clybaun Road; Nuns’ Island, Ballybrit Court; Rosshill Road; Whitestrand Road; on the N6 outside Windsor Motors; outside Pearce Stadium in Salthill; Monivea Road; Knocknacarra Park; Clareview Park; Lurgan Park; Seacrest; Castlelawn Heights; Dyke Road; Monument Road; Monksfield Avenue; Bóthar an Chóiste; Lenaboy Avenue; Monalee Heights; at Dangan; Cappagh Road and elsewhere.