PotholesA survey has revealed that claims for pothole-related damage to cars on Britain’s roads have risen more than five-fold.

AA Insurance  measured the rise comparing November and December 2013 with January to mid-March this year.

Its research found that insurers were taking an average of 173 of motor pothole insurance claims per week in the latter period compared with 33 per week in the former.

AA Insurance director Simon Douglas said: “It takes serious damage to justify making an insurance claim but over the first few weeks of 2014, an estimated 1,700 private cars have been damaged sufficiently seriously by potholes, to make it worth making a claim.”

The statements came as the company reported the findings of a survey into the overall road conditions in the UK.

According to the 23,911 AA members covered, 29 per cent of respondents reported their local roads in a terrible condition in October 2013.

This figure  had risen to 40 per cent by March 2014.

Main roads fared no better with 34 per cent rating them as terrible compared to 24 per cent last October, while motorways too saw satisfaction fall with 41 per cent rating their condition as fair before the winter compared to only a third (33 per cent) now.

AA President Edmund King said the data shows that Britain’s roads are ill-prepared for the economic recovery and unfit for purpose for many road users, such as cyclists and motorcyclists.

“It is unacceptable that each winter, whether it is frost or rain, our roads are crumbling and give way too easily,” he said.

“Bad surfaces with millions of potholes can cause death and injury especially to those on two wheels and lead to expensive damage and insurance claims.”