Pot holes created by the January Big Freeze are already taking its toll on motorists, with dozens of drivers making emergency visits to their local HiQ centre. The HiQ fast fit network, with over 135 centres across the UK, have reported around 50 car repair jobs, created by the adverse weather conditions.

Marketing manager Geraldine McGovern is now urging all motorists to take extra precaution as the snow melts away in place of milder temperatures. She said: "Hitting a pothole can damage the tyres, wheel, suspension or steering. It could even cause an accident. "We can only urge motorists to continue to drive with caution. While the roads appear a lot safer as the snow and ice thaws, the issue of pot hole damage is a real one." The AA backed HiQ's warning, and said that emergency road maintenance funding was required to stop crumbling roads costing more in compensation and accidents. AA President Edmund King said this week: "The pothole season has come early this year. Drivers will be relieved when the snow has gone but shouldn't be complacent. "Due to the severe winter, it could be a record year for potholes - one million scars of the worst winter in 30 years. Find your nearest HiQ centre