Concerns are growing over the state of Norfolk's roads, after the bill to clear the county's 'maintenance backlog' surged to £57.4m, an increase of almost 20pc in a year.

And Norfolk County Council bosses warned the issue will only get worse - because the money the government gives to fix roads is not keeping pace with inflation.

County Hall highways chiefs said that means the money available for repairs - from fixing potholes to bigger projects - is effectively falling.

The situation was described as "untenable" by one county councillor, who said failing to fix roads increased the chances of crashes and damage to vehicles.

Eastern Daily Press: Liberal Democrat county councillor Steffan Aquarone.Liberal Democrat county councillor Steffan Aquarone. (Image: Alex Broadway)

Steffan Aquarone, Liberal Democrat councillor for Melton Constable, said: "The situation with our roads - in particular our A roads - is untenable.

"Their condition is getting worse, and the backlog of repairs is getting bigger.

"Our roads are getting worse and that means more damage to vehicles, and a higher chance of accidents.

"The bottom line is we can’t afford to maintain the roads we’ve already got - let alone build any more."

At a meeting of the council's infrastructure and development committee on Wednesday (July 13), councillors heard how County Hall's highway asset backlog now stands at £57.4m, up on £47.9m a year ago.

That figure is how much it would cost the council to get roads and bridges up to the standards they should be in.

The soaring figure has been attributed to construction inflation and what the council described as a "slight deterioration" in the condition of A-roads and bridges.

Grahame Bygrave, the council's director of highways and waste, said the council used to monitor inflation once a year, but was now doing it every month.

Mr Bygrave, who said Norfolk's backlog was part of a £13bn backlog nationally, confirmed work would cost even more in the future if it could not be done now.

And he said the amount the government has given in each the past two years - and the sum it has indicated it will give for each of the next two years - has stayed at £45m.

He said: "With the inflationary pressures we have got, that is, in effect, a reduction."

The county council has tried to prevent pot-holes by creating a £10m fund to be used over the next four years.