THE state of Worcestershire's roads has come under scrutiny after new figures reveal the number of potholes have increased in 2018.

A Freedom of Information request (FOI) revealed 3755 potholes were reported to Worcestershire County Council - up 731 from 3024 in 2017.

The 2018 figure is the highest it has been in three years for the council.

Nicholas Thom, professor at Nottingham University and UK pothole expert, said:

“Potholes are not an inevitable fact of life. They are caused by water that gets into the road surface and is then squeezed by the action of high tyre pressures, made worse by freezing and thawing. "Very impermeable surfaces, such as hot rolled asphalt, are extremely pothole resistant but they are more expensive and less nice to drive on.

"More permeable surfaces, as permitted by Highways England and most local authorities, are cheaper and nicer to drive on – until they fall apart and form potholes.

"So the number of potholes per kilometre on a given authority’s roads depends not only on the repair budget, repair strategy, and the climate -frosts are bad news- but also on a historical policy choice, namely what surfacing materials to use.

"It is a choice that badly needs to be reviewed.”

The FOI report also said that in 2017, six incidences of damage to a car or bike was reported to the council.

However, only one claim for damage caused by potholes was successfully made against Worcestershire County Council in 2017, with none being successful in 2018.

Worcestershire County councillor Alan Amos, cabinet member with responsibility for highways, said: "Road maintenance is one of the County Council's top priorities and one we have continued to invest in over recent years.

"With the country experiencing more extreme weather during 2018 this will have taken its toll, however we are always improving the way we spot and react to damage to our roads.

"It was announced in the autumn budget that Worcestershire would receive £6.6million to be used for fixing potholes and addressing other key issues on our roads to keep people moving.

"We have a well-used reporting system for any member of the public to report any potholes. If you spot an issue on a Worcestershire road you can report it via our website."

For more information or to report a pothole, visit: