National Highways have apologised for a stretch of damaged motorway on the M4 after dozens of motorists hit a pothole - resulting in burst tyres on the now smart motorway.

On Tuesday, April 11, multiple drivers reported seeing cars pulled to the side with punctures on the busy stretch of the M4 going Westbound from Heathrow Airport to Langley.

One driver said: "We were returning from Gatwick and there was a horrific bang as my daughter drove through a massive pothole.

"We pulled to the side of the motorway in the dark and went to join many other cars, most of which had sustained flat tyres."

The family were left "extremely shaken".

National Highways has now broken their silence with a statement.

A National Highways spokesperson said: "We’re sorry for any disruption caused by a damaged section of road on the M4 near junction 5 at Langley. We worked quickly to repair the road surface and help affected drivers on their way.

"Safety is National Highways top priority, and on major routes like the M4 we carry out a rolling programme of safety inspections to maintain our roads in a safe condition while causing minimal disruption for drivers.

"We're aware that some vehicles may have suffered damage as a result and we have a fair and straightforward process for assessing claims." 

Potholes like the one that opened up on the M4 are often the result of heavy rain which has found its way below the road surface, which sometimes freezes.

Traffic passing over the surface can then cause the road surface to deteriorate.

National Highways added: "We have a comprehensive maintenance and renewals programme across all of our major roads and motorways which helps to minimise the risks of potholes occurring.

"When potholes do occur we repair them as soon as possible – any defects that pose a risk to safety are repaired within 24 hours."

People can report potholes to the National Highways Customer Contact Centre by calling 0300 123 5000.