LIVES have been put and risk and thousands of pounds of damage caused to vehicles after rocks were left on a Lake District road for motorists to hit.

Reports of several cars colliding with large bricks, stones and rocks on the A591 between Ambleside and Windermere.

Retired Windermere resident David Bateson has been left with the prospect of writing off his Mercedes A180 after £8,000 of repairs was required when he hit two rocks.

He had been dropping his daughter off in Ambleside when he first hit one before the Low Wood Bay hotel and another shortly after.

"It's vandalism and it's wilful damage," said Mr Bateson, 74. "A good few people have been affected by this.

"It's absolutely ridiculous. I'm certainly going to lose a lot of money out of this and my daughter said we could have been killed. When you're doing 60mph and hit a big stone, you know you've hit it."

Lakeside Taxis' general manager Chris Graves said several cars in the firm's fleet had struck the obstructions, with thousands of pounds in damages being suffered in the last eight weeks.

"These are big old stones and it's highly dangerous," he said. "It's had a massive impact on our business."

Cumbria Police have confirmed that they have responded to reports of stricken vehicles having collided with debris on the A591, which officers believe was placed in the road deliberately.

A spokesperson said: "The suspicion is that these items are being left in the road maliciously, with the intent of causing damage to vehicles.

“This is an incredibly mindless offence, with the potential for someone to be seriously injured.

“A driver or bike rider coming across these items late at night would have little or no hope of avoiding them and the results could be catastrophic.

“We would urge anyone with any knowledge of who may be behind this to get in touch with the police immediately.”

Anyone with information which may assist is asked to contact police by calling 101, email, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.