Our Services - Potholes

How potholes are repaired

There are different methods for repairing potholes depending on circumstance, our preferred approach is to cut it out and fill with hot tarmac. However, sometimes we may use other cold products that do not require us to cut out the pothole. These are quick to use at sites where working on the highway can be very disruptive as they can be completed in less than 15 minutes.

Cut out and fill

For this method our gang will cut a rectangle around the border of the pothole a few inches from the edge. Then remove the debris from in and around the pothole. They will next seal the edges and bottom and fill the hole with hot tarmac, spread it and tamp down with a vibrating ‘whacker’.

Cold products

These products are much quicker and can be used in any weather with virtually no tools. They are specially designed to ‘set’ quickly and be a permanent repair. They require water to be added to activate the material.

The gang will clean the hole to remove loose material, add water to the hole, pour a bag of the proprietary material in and then shape the edges. This is then either driven over or tamped level by hand to provide a flat surface. Vibration ‘whacking’ does not work on these materials.

The benefits of using these products are that they can be used in any weather even when potholes are filled with water, they are safer for the workforce and there is no waste.

This method has allowed us to repair more potholes, faster and keeping a high quality standard.

Intervention levels

Intervention levels are determined by the risk the issue poses i.e. deeper potholes on main roads are priorities. Intervention levels allow us to focus our resources on the most immediate issues affecting safety. Intervention levels are not determined by the contractor or officers. Elected Members set the policy that determines the intervention levels we work to.

For potholes in the carriageway, they are:

  • Category 1: Greater than 100mm and at least 300mm wide in all directions - Made Safe within 2 hours
  • Category 2: Greater than 60mm and less than 99mm deep and at least 300mm in all directions - Repaired within 5 days
  • Category 3: Greater than 40mm and less than 59mm deep and at least 300mm in all directions - Repaired within 28 days

For footways, they are: 

  • Category 1: Greater than 40mm deep - Made Safe within 2 hours
  • Category 2: Greater than 30mm deep - Repaired within 5 days
  • Category 3: Greater than 20mm deep - Repaired within 28 days

Repairing all potholes at the same time regardless of whether they are an immediate safety issue or not would require considerably more resources and money. Reactive maintenance is expensive compared to planned maintenance and it does not provide best value for money. Repairing roads by the pothole method costs the equivalent of £200 per square metre. Resurfacing a road costs around £30 per square metre. 


Report a problem

If you think the problem is an emergency please call us on 0345 60 80 193. If it is not an emergency you can report it easily online here.

Report a problem online