The way we determine potholes and other defects are based upon the Highways Maintenance Operational Plan (HMOP) which is a risk assessment based upon location, road category and severity of the possible defect. It has matrices that indicate the appropriate minimum response for each type of defect.
Potholes that do not meet intervention level
A pothole less than 40mm (approximately 1.5inches) deep would not meet our intervention criteria for urgent repairs. We would however record this for potential future works and inform our Surface Treatments team. Download an example of a pothole less than 40mm deep (JPG).
A pothole less than 20cm (8 inches, approximately) wide would not meet our intervention criteria for urgent repairs, we would record this for future works and inform our Surface Treatments team. We will continue to monitor the defects during routine inspections. Download an example of a pothole less than 20cm wide (JPG).
To meet intervention level the defect needs to be at least 20cm (approximately 8inches) in length and width and 40mm (approximately 1.5 inches) deep.
We will continue to monitor the defects during routine inspections in case they worsen and take appropriate action as required.
Potholes that do meet intervention level
A pothole 20cm (approximately 8 inches) wide by 40mm (approximately 1.5inches) deep would make it an intervention level defect. The type of road will determine the response time. For example, on a high-priority road like the A12 or A1120, we would repair it within 10 working days, on a very minor rural road or urban cul-de-sac we would repair it within 8 weeks. Medium priority roads would have a 20 working day response time. Download an example of a pothole 40mm deep (JPG).
A pothole 40cm wide by 13cm deep, which would mean a response time of 2 working days on high priority roads (this may have a make safe or temporary repair which we will follow up with a permanent repair within 14 weeks) and 20 working days on low priority roads. On medium-priority roads, the time would be 5 working days. Download an example of a pothole 40cm wide by 13cm deep (JPG).
Once we have identified a defect as requiring repair and where it is safe to do so, we will mark it with a temporary road marking paint. This highlights the defect for our repair teams and other Highway users. These marks will normally fade within a few weeks.
When we have marked a defect the repair is being organised and so these do not need to be reported to us again.