Level 1 - Keeping the network safe and serviceable (pot hole repairs)
We respond to potholes and other localised road defects according to the level of risk to road/pavement users. This means our response time depends on where the defect is, how bad the defect is, and how busy the road or pavement is.
Pothole teams take photos of every pothole repair so we can make sure repairs are to a good standard.
Urgent safety-critical pothole issues
Where our inspector considers the defect to be putting people at immediate risk, the inspector will make sure the defect is made safe or repaired within a set response time depending on the level of risk. We have three categories of timescales to make safe or repair: 1.5 hours for the most urgent issues, end of the next working day, or within 5 working days. Timescales start from the time of inspection.
'Making safe' might mean either putting up cones and signs, or filling the pothole.
After pothole repair work, and for non-urgent issues
Once any urgent repair work is done, or where the defect is not an immediate safety issue, we assess the best long term approach for the location. We may schedule the defect for future treatment or add the stretch of road to either our level 2 (patching) or level 3 (resurfacing) programmes. Where there are more than a few non-urgent defects on a stretch of road, we will plan patching or resurfacing work rather than individual pothole repairs. This is because it will not be cost-effective to fill each pothole separately.
More details about pot hole repair actions and timescales
Our Code of Practice for Highway Safety Inspections (PDF, 700KB) gives full details of how we inspect roads and respond to potholes and other road defects.
Filling pot holes
Every highway authority is battling with the problem of potholes.
We use a variety of different techniques to fill potholes, depending on the circumstances.
Where appropriate, we use modern spray injection patching techniques to prevent potholes getting worse. This is usually in rural areas where loose chippings are less of an issue. Spray injection machines can fill a pothole in just a few minutes, and the road can be opened again straight after.
Pothole repair teams are responsible for clearing up as they go.
When we do pothole repair work
We do pothole repair work all year round, except for spray injection patching which can only take place in spring and summer because it needs warmer temperatures.
How long pothole repair work takes
Most potholes take between 30 and 45 minutes to fill. With spray injection, each pothole only takes a few minutes.