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Billions needed to repair potholes

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A report has found that the number of potholes in England has increased by 32% over the past year, increasing the risk of having to make a car insurance claim for damage they cause to vehicles.

According to the report from Asphalt Industry Alliance (AIA), on average there is now one hole every 120 yards on England's local roads.

It estimates that it will cost £8.5 billion and take 13 years to bring the condition of roads up to scratch and clear the pothole backlog.

However, it would take 15.6 years for local roads in Wales to be brought back into good condition.

The AIA said that the two million deep trenches dug into the roads for utility and other service provisions works each year is reducing the lifespan of roads and leads to more potholes.

Last year alone 800,000 potholes were filled on English local roads at a cost of £65 per hole, meaning that on average it would cost £47 million per local authority to clear the problem.

AIA chairman Mike Linley said: "Vehicles that have to constantly stop and start generate more emissions and with a road opening or pothole every 120 yards, free-flowing traffic seems like an impossible dream."

© Press Association 2009