How highways are maintained

Learn how public highways in Suffolk are managed, inspected and maintained, and read our Highway Maintenance Operational Plan.

We work with Kier as Suffolk Highways to maintain public highways.

Our aim is to make public highways safe and accessible.

The Highway Maintenance Operational Plan (PDF, 1,950KB) sets out our approach to providing the highway maintenance service to meet our statutory duties. You can find more details on the Highway Maintenance Operational Plan page.

The Suffolk Highways Defect Response Matrices (PDF, 756KB) sets out an alternative method for identifying whether repairs are necessary for different types of highway defects and the timescales for completing repairs. Browse the document to see the categories of damage and respective timescales for repair, for each type of defect.

We rely on you letting us know of any problems on the highways in Suffolk. 

Read our quick guide for information and details on our reactive service in Suffolk. 

Reactive service quick guide (PDF 285,KB)

If you'd like to read other guides similar to this, on highways topics such as highway emergencies, visit our quick guides page

Report a problem 

You can report a highways problem quickly and easily by visiting our Report a highways issue webpage. 

What is the public highway?

The public highway consists of:

  • bridges
  • cycleways
  • pavements
  • public rights of way
  • roads
  • verges

We are not responsible for:

How are highways inspected?

We carry out regular safety inspections of the highway network to find defects. When we find them, we try to fix them or make it safe within an appropriate timescale.

Defects can occur at any time and it would be impossible to repair them as soon as they appear.

Most inspections are carried out either:

  • from a slow moving vehicle
  • as a footway inspection (a mix of driven and walked inspections)

We don't routinely inspect unsurfaced roads (green lanes), because they're used by:

  • limited vehicular traffic
  • equestrians
  • pedestrians

Budgets for the maintenance of low-use routes are limited. We complete inspection and some maintenance following reports from the public.

Our role as a Highway Authority

We have to fulfil a number of statutory duties in our role as Highway Authority for these roads. Many of these are contained in the Highways Act 1980.

Deciding which roads to repair

Roads that need repairing by Suffolk Highways are identified based on: 

  • regular inspections
  • annual surveys using specialist equipment
  • reports from councillors, parish councils and community groups
  • reports from residents

If you're planning works which could affect the highway, read about temporary road closures and diversions and bridges.

Contact Customer Service quickly and easily by webchat

  • Your questions will be answered quicker on webchat.
  • Open Monday to Friday 9am to 4:30pm (excluding bank holidays).

Click the webchat button in the right hand corner of your screen.