This might just be the worst pothole we have ever seen, one Northern Irish councillor dubbing it a 'potmonster' and sharing footage of the cavernous defect, calling for urgent action before a cyclist is seriously injured or worse.
Malachy Quinn, an SDLP councillor, posted a picture of the pothole on social media, along with an accompanying video of the scene below the surface...
There are potholes, then there are POTMONSTERS.
DFI need to do more than patch! What if a cyclists hits this or a motorcyclist? The danger of this is plain to see. We need a permanent solution to fixing the Ferry Road.
And a note, my feet weren't even touching the bottom! pic.twitter.com/6AfZ0GnvVM
— Malachy Quinn (@MalachyQuinn) June 18, 2023
The hole is on the Ferry Road in Coalisland — home town of recent Baby Giro second-placed rider Darren Rafferty — Cllr Quinn climbing into the jaw-dropping defect for a picture and explaining that despite his lower half being completely below the road surface, his feet were not even touching the bottom.
"There are potholes, then there are potmonsters," he said. "Department for Infrastructure needs to do more than patch! What if a cyclists hits this or a motorcyclist?
"The danger of this is plain to see. We need a permanent solution to fixing the Ferry Road. And a note, my feet weren't even touching the bottom!"
"The Department for Infrastructure want to think that patching this will be fine … until it's reopened in three months time," he told the News Letter who heard from a spokesperson at the department who noted due to budget cuts only the highest priority defects would be repaired.
That comment followed another earlier in 2023 which said there had been "under-investment in the maintenance of the road network for many years, resulting in the deterioration we are now experiencing".
One SDLP colleague suggested the 'potmonster' looks more like an ancient burial tomb than a road defect, while another of Cllr Quinn's followers compared it to the San Andreas Fault, a third "half expecting Pennywise to appear".
The concerns about potholes and their danger to cyclists is nothing new of course and is a near constant discussion point, crash injuries and fatalities highlighting the seriousness of the situation.
On January 2, 84-year-old Harry Colledge, the former president of Cleveleys Road Club and a "much loved" member of the north west of England cycling community, died after the front wheel of his Claud Butler bike got stuck in a deep crack in a rural Lancashire road, throwing him off and causing serious injuries.
In October, we reported that a coroner is to submit a report raising concerns about Surrey County Council's lack of action in repairing dangerous potholes, one of which caused a fatal cycling crash in June 2020.
Dr Karen Henderson said there had been a "lack of reflection by Surrey County Council", management of potholes had not improved and asked for better steps to make inspectors aware of complaints, risk assessments and better communication between the contact centre and highways department.
Last month, one public-spirited resident in Devon took matters into their own hands, repairing a dangerous hole "before a cyclist went through it".
Paul Jackson said the roads near where he lives on Whipton Village Road are a "joke" and that he was fed up with hearing about how the hole with a depth of 15-20cm had damaged someone's car and had "become a safety concern for cyclists".
Mr Jackson said it "shouldn't be down to us to fill in our own potholes" but asked "at what point does it become a safety concern for cyclists, motorbikes and damage to vehicles?"
A Devon County Council spokesperson urged residents not to carry out work on public roads and within an hour of the DIY repair a council team was sent to repair the repair.
"Was it a strange coincidence? They filled the other holes in the same area on different days bizarrely," Mr Jackson said.
Dan joined road.cc in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining road.cc, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.