We can only treat a pothole if we know about it. We carry out regular inspections of the roads but also rely on people reporting potholes to us. To find out more and to report a pothole, click on the 'Report a pothole' button.Report a pothole »
Nobody likes potholes, and it’s no secret that there are a large number of potholes or other defects on our roads. That’s why we’re working hard to tackle them and make our roads safer for all road users. But we don't just wait for potholes to form until we do something about them. We also do preventative work to help stop them forming.
Did you know that last year we treated 29,000 potholes?
What causes potholes?
A pothole happens when the surface of a road has been worn away and a hollow forms. Potholes most often occur on older road surfaces where the surface has deteriorated. They’re usually formed during the winter months as a direct result of snow, ice and prolonged periods of rain. Water gets into cracks in the road, then freezes and expands.
How we tackle potholes
Our aim is to prevent problems occurring in the first place, and to make repairs that will last.
We have a statutory duty to repair any dangerous defects within five or 28 days, depending on the severity. With limited resources available we focus on the more serious defects so that safety is maintained. Defects not deemed to be an immediate danger are repaired in a more planned and cost-effective way at a later date. This is common practice across the country and allows councils to both meet their statutory duty and allow budgets to stretch as far as possible.
Potholes can be repaired in several ways, and can vary from small individual repairs to larger patched repairs. As well as traditional methods, we use several innovative approaches to ensure that repairs are carried out quickly, successfully and cost-effectively.
Find out more from this video...
Sometimes, for the safety of road users, temporary repairs are made until a permanent repair can be carried out. This might be because the repair location requires complex traffic management or because of adverse weather conditions.
We don't just wait for potholes to form until we do something about them. We also do preventative work to help stop them forming.
Every year between May and August we carry out our annual programme of surface dressing. Surface dressing is a quick, efficient and cost-effective way of preventing potholes, maintaining skid-resistance and waterproofing road surfaces. Each year we also carry out a programme of resurfacing.
You may occasionally see a pothole which has been marked out in paint. This means that it’s been assessed and is on the list to be fixed. The defect will be repaired within our standard response times depending on its severity.