British motorists are paying the price for a fiercely wet winter, with insurance claims following pothole damage soaring in the first three months of the year.
According to figures compiled by the AA, have seen a five-fold increase pothole-related insurance claims from January to March, with the firms taking an average of 173 claims each week compared to just 33 per week in the lead-up to Christmas.
The torrential rain throughout winter is thought to be at the root of the problem, and it's an issue that is apparently widespread.
In a poll of nearly 24,000 AA members, 40 per cent said their local roads were in a terrible condition compared to 29 per cent in October 2013. The pothole problem also extended to main roads, where 34 per cent rated them as terrible compared to 24 per cent last October.
Despite Chancellor George Osborne's pledge to provide an extra £200 million for road repairs in the wake of the winter flooding, AA President Edmund King insists it will be of little help in the long term.
"Government emergency handouts like those recently for pothole repairs are welcome, but are a sticking plaster rather than a cure that will properly repair our roads for the future," Mr King told the Daily Mail.
"It is unacceptable that each winter, whether it is frost or rain, our roads are crumbling and give way to easily."
He added: "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."
The average payout for a successful pothole damage claim is £583.
Have you fallen victim to pothole damage this winter? What do you think the Government should do to address the issue? Leave your comments below...