The poor condition of more than 180 miles of Dorset roads could leave drivers, bikers and cyclists facing “devastating crashes”, figures suggest.

Department for Transport figures show that seven per cent of Dorset’s council-run roads – around 184 miles – were likely to have considerable deterioration in 2018-19.

They include nearly ten per cent of unclassified roads, three per cent of A roads and five per cent of B and C roads.

Councils use human inspection or scanning machines to assess the state of a road’s surface, although the exact technique can vary between local authorities. Roads likely to show considerable deterioration are categorised as “poor”, and may need maintenance within the next 12 months.

Across England, 12 per cent of council-owned roads were classed as being in poor condition in 2018-19 – around 21,900 miles.

In April it was announced that Dorset would receive more than £14m to fix the county’s roads, as part of a £30 million handout to tackle road maintenance and pothole repairs.

The county was allocated £11.1m for maintenance, £2.3m as part of an incentive scheme and £757,000 for a ‘pothole action fund’.

But this hasn’t stopped the Brake road safety charity joining calls by other organisations for a significant boost to maintenance funding to help people stay safe and avert potentially costly repairs.

Brake says damaged roads “can contribute to potentially devastating crashes, with cyclists and motorcyclists most at risk”.

A spokesman added: “Investment in our road network is a must to help prevent the huge cost to society of a serious crash.”

Jack Wiltshire, Dorset Council Head of Highways, said: “One of the biggest challenges in preventing road collisions is with human behaviour and the choices that we make while using the road. Dorset Council continues to support the Dorset Road Safety Partnership which aims to improve road user behaviour through education, training and publicity.

“This year we’ve seen a slight increase in the condition of our roads, thanks to some additional funding last year as well as our use of high-definition camera surveys across our entire road network. This ensures that we are more accurately monitoring and assessing road condition so that repairs can be prioritised based on the type of damage, as well as the type of road.

“We’ll continue to use a wide variety of surface treatments, using our funding efficiently to prevent our roads deteriorating and potholes forming. Our focus will remain on ensuring that our higher-used A and B roads are in good condition, as these carry the majority of traffic and are the essential links to communities and businesses.”