A huge spike in the number of potholes across the county has been reported over the winter months.

According to Hertfordshire County Council, more than 3,500 potholes have been reported over January 2018, which is compared to around 1,800 reports in January 2017.

This shows almost a 50% rise in the number of potholes, which the council suggests is due to fluctuations in road temperature and prolonged cold and wet weather.

Cllr Ralph Sangster, who is responsible for highways, said: "These figures show that our highways have had an extremely tough winter – with both freezing and wet weather increasing the number of potholes.

"Alongside the planned investment into the maintenance of our busiest roads, we are investing an additional £29m over the next four years to improve the condition of Hertfordshire’s unclassified road network - that’s the roads that most of us live on, as well as rural lanes; and we have already prioritised the fixing of potholes above other areas such as gully clearing or hedge trimming.

"We’re also using a high-pressure Jet Patcher system to repair carriageway defects which could turn into potholes if not treated in an even faster and effective way to support the high volume of reports we have received this winter."

The key reason for the potholes is known as the freeze and thaw process, where rain water within the road surface expands by almost 10 per cent when frozen, then melts back down as the temperature rises.

As this happens repeatedly, cracks are created and further damage is caused to the road surface.

The council has hit its targets in repairing the most urgent potholes within 24 hours, and all others within five to 20 working days.

To report potholes in the area, visit https://www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/faultreporting/ and follow The AA guidelines about how to drive approaching a pothole.