The former Chairman of Larne Football Club has claimed his car failed its MOT after being damaged by large potholes outside the local test centre.
Chris McAdam visited the Larne MOT centre, located just off Ballyboley Road, at the end of January.
However, as he was entering the centre he hit a large pothole, which damaged his car.
“I had got my car ready for its MOT and I went down that night when it was dark so I didn’t see the hole in the road,” Chris recalled.
“The pothole was massive and it busted the shock absorber.
“When I got out to see the pothole my size 12 feet were dwarfed by the size of it. The car failed the MOT, so I had to pay £180 to get it repaired and re-tested.”
Last week, the Times revealed that the road has not been adopted by the DRD and is privately owned.
While the DOE, which runs MOT centres, said it had contacted the owner regarding the condition of the road, they refused to disclose the owner’s identity.
“I think that the DRD should adopt that road,” Chris continued.
“The public has no choice but to get their cars MOT’d so the road should be kept in a satisfactory condition for public access.
“Why should I have to foot another bill after I’ve already spent money to get my car into good shape for the test?
“It’s double standards on the part of the MOT centre. They want you to keep your car to a certain standard but they should keep that road to a good standard for safety reasons too.”
Chris has been advised by East Antrim MP Sammy Wilson to search for the road owner’s details on the land registry to pursue a personal claim.
Mr Wilson echoed Chris’s call for the DRD to adopt the road.
“Even if the road isn’t the DRD’s legal responsibility, given that it is used for a public service I believe the test centre should do something, even if it just takes responsibility for fixing the holes rather than passing the buck,” he told the Times.
“Learner drivers do their tests and the road should be in a safe condition.
“I think there should be legislation for maintenance where private roads lead to a public place, especially when it involves vulnerable people such as learner drivers. There is a potential for an accident, especially as that road is used by heavy vehicles.
“I have asked the DOE to look at this and make an appeal to the driving centre.”
Responding for calls for the DRD to adopt the road outside Larne MOT centre, a DRD spokesperson said: “This roadway is private however Article 9 of the Private Streets Order 1980 provides for the Department (DRD TransportNI) to consider existing private streets and areas for adoption where: the department is of the opinion that the street should become a public road, the majority of frontagers/owners so request it, and the roads or streets are first brought to adoption standard at the expense of the frontagers/owners.
“Should the current owners wish to pursue adoption of the street the Department is prepared to consider the proposal and offer technical advice but all costs including the full design and construction will be the responsibility of the owner/proposer. The department would not vest the street in question.”
A spokesperson for the DOE, who run the MOT test centres, said: “DVA has made a further request to the owner of the land for an urgent meeting and is hopeful that this matter will be resolved quickly.”
Meanwhile, local residents have added their voices to the chorus of frustration at the poor condition of the road.
Many social media users claimed their cars had been damaged on the road but were confused as to who to contact over the issue.
Lisa Scott revealed: “I hit the two potholes at 7.15pm last month going to an MOT.
“Was so annoyed I complained to the guy doing the test on my car and he said to report it but didn’t know who to as it was a private road.
“My daughter took her car there on Monday night and she almost hit them. Absolutely disgraceful road condition!”
Her comments were echoed by Raymond Cheung, who claimed that his vehicle had been damaged due to the condition of the road surface.
“It’s a joke these roads are getting,” he stated.
“I hit a pothole there a couple of weeks ago and wrecked two alloys.”
Meanwhile, Tania Apsley called for action to tackle the problem of potholes across Larne.
“The town needs to get all the pot holes filled in before it really does some damage,” she said.
“They are everywhere.”