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"What if a cyclist hits this?": Councillor raises alarm over enormous pothole big enough to stand waist-deep in

"There are potholes, then there are potmonsters... my feet weren't even touching the bottom!"...

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...

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.

Pothole (Simon Kroner/Facebook)

> "Same question every winter": Cyclists slam "disgraceful" state of Britain's pothole-covered roads

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.

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18 comments

Avatar
Kim Chee | 9 months ago
2 likes

Pink spray paint around it ike a huge vagina, then epoxy a wig at the top. It'll get fixed promptly. 

Avatar
Mungecrundle replied to Kim Chee | 9 months ago
1 like
Kim Chee wrote:

Pink spray paint around it ike a huge vagina, then epoxy a wig at the top. It'll get fixed promptly. 

That's no way to treat a local Councillor! Even a member of the SDLP

Avatar
brooksby | 9 months ago
2 likes

They'll need new road markings - "Mind the gap"

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Owd Big 'Ead | 9 months ago
4 likes

Perhaps Rod Stewart could pop round and fix it?

Avatar
mark1a replied to Owd Big 'Ead | 9 months ago
5 likes
Owd Big 'Ead wrote:

Perhaps Rod Stewart could pop round and fix it?

Apparently someone did reach out and enquire but he didn't want to talk about it.  
 

I'm here all week...

 

Avatar
Rendel Harris replied to mark1a | 9 months ago
2 likes
mark1a wrote:
Owd Big 'Ead wrote:

Perhaps Rod Stewart could pop round and fix it?

Apparently someone did reach out and enquire but he didn't want to talk about it.  
 

I'm here all week...

Doesn't want to help at all? That's a heartbreak. Too busy sailing I suppose. You'd think at least someone with his wealth could send a couple of young Turks round to do the job.

Avatar
Fignon's ghost | 9 months ago
1 like

That's a shocker.

Get ARNIE on this. PRONTO!

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Xenophon2 | 9 months ago
5 likes

When I saw the first picture, I thought this had been photoshopped.

Not.

To me that looks like a sinkhole, not just a pothole.  Might be undermining the entire road.

 

Avatar
grOg replied to Xenophon2 | 9 months ago
2 likes

Correct, it's a sinkhole; a pothole is a defect in the pavement only.

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ymm | 9 months ago
1 like

Wow. That is quite something. On a related note, this evening Wiltshire Council are hosting a 'pothole webinar' for residents to join, comment and query. Should be fun with invigorating discussion. A brave Councillor IMO. Video of webinar should be on Council website later in the week.

Avatar
brooksby replied to ymm | 9 months ago
0 likes
ymm wrote:

Wow. That is quite something. On a related note, this evening Wiltshire Council are hosting a 'pothole webinar' for residents to join, comment and query. Should be fun with invigorating discussion. A brave Councillor IMO. Video of webinar should be on Council website later in the week.

Was that road that turned into a pump track in Wiltshire?

Avatar
marmotte27 | 9 months ago
5 likes

Makes one worry for the whole substructure of that road.

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AlsoSomniloquism | 9 months ago
6 likes
Quote:

"What if a cyclist hits this?"

As long as he keeps on wearing a bright yellow top I'm sure they will miss him.

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Off the back replied to AlsoSomniloquism | 9 months ago
2 likes

Best use made of a council member by far. 

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mjc2669 replied to Off the back | 9 months ago
2 likes

They could do with compressing him down a bit though... needs to be flatter.

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Car Delenda Est | 9 months ago
3 likes

Yarrr monster indeed: that be the terrible Moby Dip

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Cycloid replied to Car Delenda Est | 9 months ago
4 likes

I have my own collection of monster potholes, but this one wins.

the local highways authority will tell you it's not as bad as it looks - Once a pothole is twelve inches deep the extra depth does not make much difference.

Avatar
lonpfrb replied to Cycloid | 9 months ago
2 likes
Cycloid wrote:

I have my own collection of monster potholes, but this one wins.

the local highways authority will tell you it's not as bad as it looks - Once a pothole is twelve inches deep the extra depth does not make much difference.

In Kent it's not a pothole until it's 5cm deep. I have explained to Kent Highways, my Councillor and MP that a standard road wheel and tire (700x23) will not survive impact leading to a Road Traffic Incident, Medical Emergency and subsequent legal action against the responsible highway authority. Life changing injury a high likelihood on our steep narrow roads. (Yes, not Yorkshire or Cumbria but still >10%). The silence has been deafening so evidence of car first highway management. Active Travel you say, hmm...

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