Potholes on Ulster's roads have cost almost a third of a million pounds in compensation claims over the past three years.
According to figures posted on the Assembly's website the Department of Regional Development, fronted by Sinn Fein's Conor Murphy, has paid out £329,456.12 on personal injury and vehicle damage claims since 2005. Last year £73,017.95 of taxpayers' money was used in settling 445 of the 934 claims submitted. Of these, 442 claims related to vehicle damage - only three personal injury claims resulted in compensation.
A further 136 claims were classed as "still outstanding".
The biggest sum paid out in 2007, was £2,379.94 for damage caused to a car by a pothole on the Lower Ballinderry Road outside Lisburn.
In 2006, DRD spent £101,015.88 settling 425 claims. The department received a total of 857 submissions - 412 for vehicle damage and 135 for personal injuries. Another 26 claims still have to be dealt with.
DRD shelled out most compensation during 2005 when the figure topped £155,422.29 to pay 469 of 843 claims made. A further 22 personal injury claims were still to be settled.
It is understood a number of the outstanding claims are the subject of legal proceedings.
A DRD spokeswoman said keeping the roads in top condition was a priority, adding: "Roads Service has a cyclical defect inspection and repair regime that ensures our statutory commitment to maintain the roads in Northern Ireland is fulfilled. It is not possible under current funding levels to keep our roads pothole-free."
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