AN INQUIRY into the state of roads including those in Dorset has been launched by MPs amid growing concern over the lack of pothole repairs.

It comes after figures from the Department for Transport show that within the Dorset County Council area, 427 pothole incidents which had been reported still had not been repaired at the start of 2018.

The funding and governance of England’s local road network, including Dorset's, will now be analysed by the Transport Select Committee.

Councillor Daryl Turner, cabinet member for the natural and built environment at Dorset County Council, said: “We know that residents would ideally like all of our roads to be in a ‘A1’ condition but, in the current financial climate, that is becoming increasingly difficult.”

Lilian Greenwood, chairman of the Transport Select Committee, said people do not have to travel further than their nearest shops to see the “extreme state of disrepair” on local roads.

She added that poorly maintained road surfaces, including potholes, had been a contributory factor in 22 deaths and 368 serious injuries to cyclists since 2007 in Britain.

Ms Greenwood described the “plague of potholes” as a “major headache” because they harm the local economy, are dangerous for cyclists and result in repair bills for motorists.

She said: “Our inquiry aims to investigate the situation in England, including current funding constraints and potential alternative models that could offer a solution.

“We know that this is a high priority issue.”

Sam Jones, of charity Cycling UK, said there was a “human cost to our potholes”, adding the inquiry was “incredibly timely”.

He said: “If the roads were in a fit state, there would be no need for cash-strapped councils to be paying out, nor families across the country having to struggle with the loss of a loved one.”

At the same time, the RAC reported that pothole-related vehicle breakdowns between April and June was at a three-year high with a total of 4,091 call-outs during the second quarter of a year since 2015.