Councils are about to introduce a new weapon in the never-ending battle to keep roads free of potholes: the trusty bin lorry.
Local authorities are preparing to fit refuse collection trucks with cameras that can detect cracks in the road surface before potholes actually appear.
Two councils have experimented with the technology so far as part of a £183,000 trial funded by the Department for Transport (DfT). It is hoped that the system will help to prevent damage to thousands of cars, which often results in costly compensation claims.
The announcement was made a week after the Local Government Association revealed that the cost of repairing all potholes in England and Wales stood at £12 billion and could reach £14 billion within the next two years. At the present rate of repair it is thought that it could take more than a decade to fill all the holes in local roads.
Today the DfT allocated a further £1.2 billion to councils across England to improve road surfaces and tackle congestion hotspots. It was also announced that funding would be allocated to test a pothole repair system in Thurrock, Essex, and York.