Potholes

We are due to spend around £30.6m this year to maintain roads and pavements. But with 4,600 miles of highways and 5,300 miles of footways, we have to prioritise.

Inspections

Our highways inspectors regularly check major roads and footways for defects. They walk or drive:

  • all major routes monthly,
  • secondary routes quarterly, and
  • local access routes at least once a year

If you see a pothole marked out in white paint, it means our inspector has assessed that it meets our levels to be fixed and will be repaired within our standard response times.

Reporting potholes


We will aim to fix 90% of reported potholes within 20 days. 

But we need your help in reporting potholes to us, if you spot any in between our inspections that could cause a safety risk, use our online Report It tool. 

Report a pothole, or a problem with a road surface or footway

What causes potholes

The following stages demonstrate how a combination of weather and wear and tear is one of the major causes of potholes on roads.

 

How we fix potholes

We aim to repair potholes with the right type of repair, first time. 

Temporary measures

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.

Techniques used

Pothole repairs 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, cost effectively and with minimal waste.

Here are examples of how we carry out the spray injection process and mechanical repair process.


This is also known as jet patching which gives long lasting results on rural roads. Jet patching is a fast, 4 stage pothole repair process:

  1. Loose material and detritus is blown out of the pothole using high pressure air
  2. A bituminous emulsion is sprayed into the pothole to act as a "glue"
  3. Small chippings are "blown" into the pothole at the same time as more bituminous emulsion which combine and fills the pothole
  4. The material is compacted with a mechanical compactor and the road is immediately opened up to traffic

 
This is a 3 stage process:

  1. The area around the pothole is broken out using a mechanical planer
  2. An emulsion is brushed onto the base and sides to act as a "glue"
  3. New tarmac is placed into the planed out surface and compacted ready to be trafficked

 
Your questions answered

See our highways engineers answering your common questions about potholes. You can also watch the series of videos from our Highways Team, which explain more about how we maintain our roads in Lancashire.