THE state of Britain's roads is continuing to deteriorate with motorists facing an astonishing repair bill of Â£1.7 billion in the past year, according to a new report.
The figure is up almost half a billion pounds on pre-pandemic levels and almost half of all drivers say road conditions are worse than they were a year ago.
The annualPothole Impact Tracker study for tyre firm Kwik Fit, shows a 35 per cent increase in the cost of damage compared to the previous year, a rise which could be partly explained by the higher traffic volumes in the last twelve months than in the year to March 2021 - the first year of the pandemic.
The latest figure is nearly half a billion pounds higher than in the year before Covid hit, despite average daily car traffic remaining below those pre-pandemic levels, and is the biggest total seen since Kwik Fit began tracking the cost annually.
The number of British drivers experiencing pothole problems has risen, with 59 per cent of drivers saying they have hit at least one a week over the last year, up from 46 per cent in 2021.
Some 13.3 million motorists say their car has suffered damage in the last year as a result of a pothole impact, with the average individual repair bill coming to £132.
Of the 13.3 million drivers who experienced damage after a pothole impact, the research found that 50 per cent faced damage to their tyres.
This was followed by wheel damage in 29 per cent of cases, damaged suspension (also 29 per cent) and steering (18 per cent).
For 12 per cent of drivers facing with damage the impact was severe enough to cause bodywork damage, while for one in ten the damage was to engine components.
Roger Griggs, communications director at Kwik Fit, said: "The total cost of potholes to the nation's drivers is rising due to a combination of factors - worsening road surfaces, the impact of inflation on individual repair costs and car use getting back to near pre-pandemic levels.
"We all know there are huge demands on public finances at the moment, but the reality is that drivers have been consistently calling for a strategic plan to effectively bring our roads up to scratch for many years. It is not sufficient to just carry out emergency patching of the worst areas - this is always going to be a case of papering over the cracks."
If drivers see a pothole, Kwik Fit encourages them to report it as councils can only rectify a problem if they are aware of it.