An increase in the number of heavier lorries on the local roads network could see the number of potholes 'spike', council chiefs are warning.
New figures from the Local Government Association (LGA) have revealed the amount goods lorries are transporting each year has rocketed by 5% from the previous year to almost 1.7 billion tonnes.
The LGA warned this increased weight will put more pressure on an already underfunded local roads network.
Whitehall is investing over 40 times more in maintaining national roads (3% of total roads) compared with local roads, which are controlled by councils (97%).
Councils are warning 2017 could be a ‘tipping point’ year for potholes, with the repair bill possibly reaching £14bn within two years, and the increase in lorry loads could add to this.
‘Motorists should literally be bracing themselves for a surge in potholes,’ said Cllr Martin Tett, LGA transport spokesman.
‘Our local roads network faces an unprecedented funding crisis and the latest spike in lorries could push our local roads network over the edge.
‘Lorries exert massively more weight on road surfaces than cars, causing them to crumble far quicker.’
‘Motorists pay billions to the Treasury each year in fuel duty when they fill up their car at the pumps only to then have to drive on roads that are decaying after decades of underfunding,’ he added.
‘They deserve roads fit for the 21st century.’