MORE than half a million potholes were reported to local authorities for repair last year, according to research.

The RAC said the total is up around 33 per cent in two years — and branded it “shocking”.

It asked all 212 councils responsible for Britain’s roads for their data.

More than 512,000 potholes were reported to the 161 authorities who gave figures. That was up 44 per cent on 356,000 craters from 152 councils in 2015.

The RAC estimated how many holes went unreported  from authorities who did not answer and believes reports rose 33 per cent from 2015 to 2017.

The most common problems were damaged shock absorbers, broken suspension springs and distorted wheels.

The RAC’s Nicholas Lyes said: “Perhaps motorists are more inclined to report potholes now but we believe the size of the increase proves the condition of our roads is worsening.” He said even then it was “the tip of the iceberg” as thousands of potholes go unreported.

The Local Government Association said councils fix one every 21 seconds but need more cash.

The Department for Transport said it is giving £6.5billion for road repairs and maintenance from 2015 to 2021.