Most local authorities have not completed repair work on roads affected by last year's harsh winter, leaving motorists susceptible to poor surface conditions, a new poll has shown.
The survey of councils in England, Wales and Scotland by RAC found that 10 of 11 rural authorities polled had not finished all the necessary road repair work, while a majority of the nine urban bodies reported the same.
Findings reveal that many councils are facing budget deficits from road spending to repair last winter's damage, with individual shortfalls of up to £10 million, and many worried about the effect of the impending Government cuts on road work.
The report found that councils feared they faced a lack of time for repairs before another winter, leaving the road network vulnerable to further structural weakening, and highlighting the need for car insurance with adequate breakdown cover.
A spokesman for one rural council in England said: "Two severe winters in a row have taken a severe toll on our highway network with record numbers of potholes reported and highway maintenance increasingly on the agenda.
"The local highway network will continue to decline, more and more roads will fall into disrepair and reactive costs (potholes) will continue to climb reducing further the resources available for preventative maintenance."
© Press Association 2010