The proportion of vehicle breakdowns caused by potholes has more than doubled over the last ten years, a new study has found.

Thousands of motorists need help each month for issues like faulty suspension springs or broken shock absorbers - most of which occur due to potholes, the RAC said.

In the 12 months to June, some 0.9% of its 2.4 million call outs were due to pothole-related damage, compared to just 0.4% over the same period in 2006.

The figures show a sudden rise in pothole damage between 2007 and 2009, when the proportion of incidents rose from 0.5% to 1.1%.

RAC chief engineer David Bizley said: "The condition of our local roads has deteriorated drastically in the last decade.

"This analysis suggests that the quality of the UK's roads suffered a steady decline from the start of 2007 through to the end of 2009, presumably due to lack of investment in maintenance and resurfacing during worsening economic times.

"Since then, injections of short-term funding have addressed the immediate aftermath of periods of extreme weather but have not been sufficient to tackle the underlying problem."

Earlier this year, the Government announced the first allocation of a £250m a year funding boost to help remove potholes, with nearly one million potholes estimated to be repaired in England in 12 months.