Shocking new figures show that damage caused to cars due to potholes has increased by almost a third - and drivers in Burton are among those worst hit.
Crumbling roads in the town has earned Burton a reputation as one of the most potholed areas in the country and it seems we are not alone as new figures have shown that pothole damage is on the up across England, rising by almost a third in the last 12 months.
Roadside assistance firm the RAC said it attended 3,565 call outs between April and June to motorists whose cars had been damaged due to potholes. They were called to stranded drivers suffering broken suspension springs, damaged shock absorbers and distorted wheels after they had driven over a pothole.
This compares to just 2,275 pothole-related calls for help during the same period in 2016 - a 31 per cent spike in damage.
And Burton drivers were among these figures in a town feeling the brunt of pothole trouble, including having a road dubbed the 'worst in England' due to the number of potholes. Barton Turns, which links to the A38, earned the unwelcome tag because the road surface resembled the surface of the moon it was so bumpy and worn, drivers reported.
The increase in potholes is something which has come to the attention of staff at Crescent Motors in Burton. Stuart Watson, 37, is the assistant manager of the garage which is situated in Wetmore Road.
He said: "There certainly seems to be an increase. What seems to be common is nine times out of 10 it is pot holes. We do seem to get more than what we used to. Potholes wear down suspension components a lot faster, which is one of the main reasons for cars breaking which a lot of the time is due to speed bumps.
"On average, you could probably say it costs around £100 to £150 to replace damage caused by potholes depending on what type of car it is.
Last month the Burton Mail reported that potholes had cost Staffordshire County Council more than £270,000 in compensation in the last four years, with a total of 3,715 claims from drivers of damaged cars being made against the authority between 2012/2013 and 2015/2016.
Since then millions of pounds has been invested in repairing them with the 13,000 potholes on the county's crumbling roads becoming a priority.
Helen Fisher, cabinet support member for highways and transport, said: "Good roads are important to both the county council and communities and our highways crews work hard to fix as many potholes as they can.
"This year we announced an extra £5 million to repair even more potholes across the county and while we continue to prioritise the fixing of those potholes which pose the biggest risk to the public, with a network of around 6,000km this is always going to an ongoing challenge.
"Where motorists do make a claim for damage this is investigated and ultimately any settlements are made at a cost to the council and Staffordshire taxpayers."
Although we have enjoyed milder temperatures recently, RAC chief engineer David Bizley has warned that spells of extreme weather including spates of rainfall, can result in road surfaces dramatically deteriorating.
He said: "After a period of steady improvement, it is disappointing to see an unwelcome rise in the number of pothole-related breakdowns.
"The most worrying aspect, however, is the fact that this year’s weather has been so much milder and drier than in the equivalent six months last year and, for this reason, we should have expected the numbers for the second quarter to be lower.
"We fear it would only take a spell of very cold or wet weather for the improvements of the last year or two to evaporate and for the nation to find itself in a situation when we would once again be seeking emergency funding from Government to address the worst affected roads."
Burton pothole is so big a councillor could lie down in it!
Potholes are a dangerous fact-of-life all over town and are subject to constant debate, but in Anglesey, one pothole got so big that the area's East Staffordshire borough councillor Syed Hussain decided to do something about in a bid to put an end to the problem.
He even went as far as lying down in one of the giant potholes in Walker Street to showcase the size of the problem. The pothole there was so big that he could fit in it completely.
The father-of-three managed to secure a temporary fix for the enormous pothole while plans were outlined to resurface the road.
How a pothole is formed
Water seeps in through cracks in the road surface, collects underneath and softens the road base. When the water freezes it expands and forces up the road surface. Traffic adds extra stress.
The sun dries up the water creating a hole under the road surface. Weight of traffic collapses the road surface into the hole. A pothole forms where the road collapsed. Wear from traffic expands the hole