Road maintenance across the country has plummeted, with 3,366 fewer miles receiving any kind of improvement work, according to the RAC.

A paltry 764 miles of A road were strengthened, resurfaced or preserved in 2022/23, a 37% decrease from 2017/2018.

The situation is worse for B and C roads, where improvement work to the crumbling network practically halved compared to five years ago.

Just 4% of the 17,853 miles of A roads maintained by councils in England were resurfaced or given life-extending preservation treatment.

The RAC scrutinised government statistics to uncover the shocking lack of maintenance being carried out.

It said preservation treatments, such as surface dressing and micro surfacing used to extend the life of roads, fell to their lowest level in five years.

Just 2,698 miles of roads were given preservation treatment in the last financial year, a 50% dip on the 5,345 miles treated five years ago and a 25% drop year-on-year compared to 2021/22.

Furthermore, more than a third (35%) of the 158 roads authorities failed to carry out any road surfacing whatsoever, while 61% did no preservation maintenance work at all.

And over the last 12 months, the average length of roads resurfaced for all authorities was just 17 miles and 28 miles for preservation work.

The RAC said Kent resurfaced the most A roads, but even this only amounted to a tiny 26 miles of its 502-mile network.

Staffordshire oversaw the greatest proportion of preservation work, treating 36 out of 412 miles of A roads (8.7%); Gloucestershire came top for highest number of minor roads resurfaced and Norfolk completed the most preservation work by treating 251 miles of its 5,573 roads (4.5%).

The RAC said it was highlighting the figures following a pre-Christmas period “pockmarked with road defects” during which it attended the highest number of pothole-related breakdowns in any fourth quarter since 2019.

“These figures lay bare just how little resurfacing and life-extending preservation work councils have managed to carry out in the last financial year,” said the organisations head of policy, Simon Williams.

“We suspect this means road maintenance in England has reached a new low point – a sorry state of affairs considering how car-dependent the country is.

“It’s especially concerning to see that so few miles of A roads received any form of road maintenance last year when these important routes are used by millions of drivers every day. Meanwhile, our minor roads that are essential in connecting rural areas have received barely a crumb of the pie.”

The government recently announced £8.3bn of funding would be made available for resurfacing, with the cash sourced from scrapped HS2 plans.

However, the RAC said this was not nearly enough to solve the problems: “We believe a proportion of money raised through fuel duty should be ringfenced to give councils the certainty of additional dedicated roads maintenance funding for years to come,” said Williams.

“Otherwise, this serious, decades-long problem will continue, meaning more roads will literally crumble away.”