September 23, 2014

Don’t wait – report a pothole now!

David Cameron, on a recent visit to one county, commented on the large number of potholes and noted that they affect “hard-working people who are trying to get to work”. He pledged to spend £3 million to fill them in. But aside from waiting for the government to step in (no pun intended), what can you and I do to help reduce the number of accidents caused by potholes and other highway defects?

It’s generally known that councils have a duty to ensure pavements and roads are safe for the general public to use. And it’s common for those who are injured due to a highway defect to complain to the council responsible.

But often, serious defects, which haven’t yet caused an accident, can stay unreported for long periods of time.

How you can be proactive
Next time you walk past the pothole or other highway defect which you see every day on your route to work/school/the shops, rather than thinking to yourself that someone should do something about it, contact your local council and tell them about it.

If a member of the public reports a pothole, the council will record the complaint and ask the local highways representative to inspect it. If the defect is serious, this can lead to a repair being carried out that day.

This is obviously preferable to waiting for the highway inspector to spot it on his next routine inspection (which might not be for several months), or for someone else to report it after it has caused them to trip and be injured.

Don’t wait, report
Reporting a pothole is easy:

• Online: the local county council’s website will have a section allowing you to do this. For instance, if you’re in Oxfordshire, you can access a short form via In Wiltshire, you can use the My Wiltshire online form or download the Council’s app: For Somerset, go to
• By phone: call your local Highway Enquiries Team. For Oxfordshire the number is 0845 606 9628. For Wiltshire, it’s 0300 456 0105. In Somerset, contact contact the Roads and Transport Team on 0845 345 9155.

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