THE number of potholes in County Durham has doubled in recent years with more than 11,000 reported, new data has revealed.

According to figures gathered by the RAC in a freedom of information request (FOI) to councils, Durham County Council saw potholes reports balloon between 2016 and 2017.

The data showed 3,567 reports were filed in 2016 and 7,560 in 2017.

Durham County Council’s head of technical services, John Reed, said that severe winters “will always take their toll on the condition of roads.”

“The financial year 2017/2018 saw us experience some of the worst weather in living memory, resulting in an increase in the number of potholes on the highways we maintain,” he said.

“We do inspect all adopted roads and footpaths in County Durham for potholes and other defects at intervals determined by usage with the results helping us plan repairs.

“We also ask people to report defects including potholes to us so we are aware of any which appear between inspections.”

He added: “Following the severe winter of 2017/2018, we are investing a further £700,000 in resurfacing of unclassified roads as part of our £7.5million contribution to capital maintenance.

“We have also recently been allocated £5.26million by the Department for Transport to help us tackle potholes and we will be spending this on the resurfacing of unclassified roads.”

According to the RAC data, around 1.7 million potholes were reported across Britain between 2014 and 2017. Factoring in councils who failed to provide data, the insurers believe the figure could stretch to £2.4 million.

And in 2017 alone, more than half a million potholes were reported, an increase of 44 per cent from 2015.

RAC head of roads policy, Nicholas Lyes, added: “It’s shocking to see the number of reported potholes in Britain has risen by nearly 50 per cent in two years.

“Our own analysis of breakdown data shows the damage suffered by motorists is a constant source of frustration and expense, but the scale of the problem is obviously far greater than the numbers show.”

Durham County Council aims to fill reported potholes within 14 working days alongside inspecting roads on a regular basis.