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Roads - spillages

We deal with road spillages that could cause an immediate hazard, often in conjunction with the emergency services, and road closures may be required.

If the spillage happens on private roads or land, it's the landowner's responsibility to clear it up.

Report a spillage online

If the issue is causing an immediate danger to the safety of road users, it is classed as an emergency. You should contact us by telephone to report an emergency rather than using our online form. Our opening hours are Monday to Friday 8am - 5.30pm. Dial 999 outside office hours for our emergency service.

You can tell us about a highway spillage by registering / logging in to the 'my account' section of the website. 'My account' also allows you to view details of services you have previously applied, booked and paid for. You can also see updates on their progress.

If you prefer, you can tell us about a spillage anonymously, but please be aware that you will miss out on the benefits of having an account ie. you will not receive progress updates.

You can provide feedback about your experience of reporting a spillage here.

Check the progress of a previously reported highway issue

Updates to issues you reported whilst logged into your account are available here.

Types of spillages

Spillages affect road surface conditions and can lead to accidents. Below, we outline the types of spillages and how they are likely to be dealt with:

Type of spillage

Likely action to resolve

Oil, diesel, petrol or brake fluid

As much information as possible is needed to enable the incident to be dealt with effectively. For example, an HGV that has been leaking diesel over several miles requires a different response than a very localised incident.

  • Diesel spillage - generally dealt with by sanding the area and placing signs at the roadside.
  • Petrol spillage - does not usually create the same problem, as it will evaporate readily into the atmosphere.

Sand, gravel and other building materials

  • Materials such as concrete need to be removed as soon as possible before they set.
  • Sand/gravel will reduce the road surface resistance to skidding. The road will need to be swept.

Chemical spillage

  • Before any work is carried out, the materials have to be assessed and the risks and hazards identified.

Hazardous substances e.g. asbestos

There is legislation controlling the transportation, storage and use of hazardous substances. There are different organisations, including the Health and Safety Executive, that enforce this legislation, depending on the business involved and/or where the substances are located.

Dropped loads like steel, glass and containers

Dropped loads can damage vehicles and pedestrians. The action taken to will be dependent upon the type of load. In severe cases, the road may need to be closed until the spillage is safely removed.

This page was last updated on 13 October 2016