COUNCILLORS have criticised the Department for Infrastructure (DfI) who will not accept liability for accidents that occur from faded road markings.

According to a letter from Daniel Healy, Western Division Roads Manager, to Fermanagh and Omagh District Council,  accidents that occur as a result of faded road markings are "an issue for insurance companies", with DfI "investigating and defending public liability claims".

Mr Healy added: "In cases, where officials believe the Department can raise a legal defence, claims will be repudiated."

Sinn Féin councillor, Sheamus Greene, described the DfI response as "extraordinary".

"This is extraordinary response when we have roundabouts that are invisible", the Erne East councillor said. "An example is in Brookeborough, where we have a mini-roundabout with no visible markings whatsoever. It's a free for all. 

"And then we have the Roads Service saying that it's up to the user to be careful and to look out. Look out for what exactly? They are literally not there. 

"Furthermore, Roads Service say they will defend claims vigorously - maybe if they put the pressure on get roundabouts sorted 'vigorously', it would suit them better?"

UUP councillor, Diana Armstrong, proposed that the  Council write back to DfI to ask for a dedicated programme for road-making renewal in Fermanagh and Omagh. 

"I would regard it is negligence not to have lines painted," Councillor Armstrong said. "In the grand scheme of things, a road marking scheme is not an overly expensive scheme compared to what is needed in terms of road resurfacing. 

"I propose that we pursue this further to ensure we have a programme for the rural areas in Fermanagh and Omagh that are showing those signs of neglect and negligence."

The proposal was seconded by DUP councillor, Keith Elliott.

Councillor Elliott said: "Faded lines are also a big issue with learner drivers in and around towns, especially when it comes to switching lanes and moving across. This is something that needs to be looked at."

West Tyrone UUP councillor, Allan Rainey, said that the renewal of road markings had started on the A5 road near Omagh. 

"They are active in the Fermanagh and Omagh area at the moment, and have been on the A5," he said.

"Perhaps they are moving into the area? If there was any way we could capture them and keep them there until they get they get the work done, that would be good!"