See what types of maintenance we carry out and report a maintenance problem online.

We have a duty to manage and co-ordinate all works programmes that affect the highway, such as the work of utility companies and property developers.

Highway is the term used in law, it includes:

  • carriageway (roads)
  • footways (pavements)
  • cycleways (cycle lanes and paths)

We currently spend £55 million on road maintenance each year. This sounds like a lot of money, but when it is distributed throughout the network, and with all the different types of work we do, the budget is always stretched so we cannot always do all the work you would wish.

Types of maintenance

We undertake maintenance work to ensure that the highway is safe and keeps people and goods moving. There are numerous types of maintenance works undertaken, from resurfacing, repainting road markings and lighting and bridge repairs, to gritting in winter.

Boundary walls and fences are the responsibility of the landowner. However, if you have a concern regarding a wall or fence that is in a state of disrepair and encroaching on the highway, or is causing a safety hazard, you should report it to us. We maintain and repair:

  • walls supporting the structure of the highway - these are called highway retaining walls;
  • walls retaining land that has been excavated in cutting to form a highway parapet wall on bridges; and
  • walls providing a safety barrier.

We also manage the condition of the highway and carry out routine inspections and surveys in line with the  highway maintenance plan (pdf / 342 KB) which defines our policies and maintenance methods. When carrying out works, to ensure the safety of site staff and road users, our contractors refer to and follow our  road safety audit protocol (pdf / 88 KB).

Report a road maintenance issue 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 forms. Our opening hours are Monday to Friday 8am - 5.30pm. Dial 999 outside office hours for our emergency service.

Use one of our designated forms to report an issue with a:

If your issue relates to any of the following:

  • boundaries, fences and walls;
  • bridges and structures;
  • concern about roadworks;
  • faded road markings;
  • kerbs;
  • obstructions and deposits on the highway;
  • pedestrian crossings;
  • road closures and disruptions;
  • road safety and speed issues;
  • signs including illuminated signs;
  • street furniture;
  • surfacing works;
  • traffic signals;
  • unauthorised activity; or
  • winter maintenance.

You can tell us about an issue relating to any of the above by registering / logging in to the 'my account' section. '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 highway issue 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 highway issue here.

Further information about highways maintenance

See our  highway maintenance work leaflet (pdf / 3 MB) for a printable guide to how we maintain the roads in North Yorkshire.

Frequently asked questions

Our budget is limited and we have prioritised repairs into emergency and standard categories. Emergencies are dealt with within 24 hours. Other defects can take up to six months to remedy or are inspected in more detail again later.

There are limits to how much work we can carry out on the highway network in an area at the same time. However, whenever possible we try to undertake planned maintenance works at times that will minimise any disruption or delay on the road network, for example:

  • We try to carry out as much work as possible during the school holidays and the summer period when traffic flows are generally lighter;
  • On busier parts of the network we avoid starting work in the morning peak period and where possible remove road works before the evening peak; and
  • We co-ordinate our works programmes with all those other organisations affecting the network, such as the utility companies so that they do not clash.

Whenever possible when ordering work we package it into larger jobs to minimise the number of visits by gangs, reduce travel time and traffic management set up costs. This also maximises the time spent on site.

This can sometimes mean that work is delayed until we have sufficient work in an area to justify sending a repair gang on site. While this means that some repairs take a little longer to be done, it allows us to stretch the budget further.

We aim to recycle all the material we remove from our roads. This also helps to reduce costs.

Wherever practical and cost effective, we use repair techniques that recycle the existing road or footway surface when carrying out our repairs.

We maintain more than 1,600 bridges on the county road network in partnership with consultants Mouchel.

We are not, however, responsible for bridges on the A1M and M62 motorways and other major trunk routes such as the A1, A168 / A19, A64 and A66. These are managed by the Highways Agency.

Footbridges on public rights of way are maintained by our countryside services public rights of way team, while urban footbridges, footbridges next to fords and all pipes and culverts with a width of less than 1.5m are the responsibility of the local highway maintenance manager.

To report damage to a bridge, tell the police and contact us during working hours.

Bridge strengthening

Following assessment, our bridge strengthening programme's target is to have 95 per cent of the network capable of carrying vehicles without weight restrictions. The programme of bridges to be strengthened is published annually in the local transport plan progress report and is dependent on the funding available.

Bridge closure and maintenance information

Our interactive map is searchable and shows details about dates, severity of impact, and who is responsible for the roadworks, including bridges. You can also sign up for email alerts for roadworks in your area too.

Launch interactive roadworks map


Every year, we improve the county's 9,000km of roads with a programme of surface dressing.

Surface dressing offers a quick, efficient and cost-effective way of maintaining skid-resistant and waterproofed road surfaces, helping to prevent future deterioration. It's not popular with road users, mainly because of the loose chippings which are an inevitable part of the process. However, the speed of the operation - and the short time motorists are inconvenienced  - is an important benefit.

We carry out surface dressing because it:

  • improves skid resistance, making the road safer to drive on;
  • makes the road waterproof and protects it against frost and winter damage;
  • extends the life of the carriageway surface by up to ten years;
  • is comparatively low-cost at just a fifth of the price of resurfacing. This means that we can treat a much larger proportion of the road network each year - 200 miles of roads can be surface dressed for the cost of resurfacing 40 miles;
  • prevents much more expensive work being needed later; and
  • the duration of operations causes less inconvenience to the motorist.

Surface dressing work is undertaken between mid-March and the end of August because the process requires warm, dry weather to make sure the dressing becomes established. Loose chippings may initially be a problem and that's why there is a speed limit of 20mph during the early life of the dressing. It is important that traffic is allowed onto the new surface as chippings only become fully embedded under the action of vehicle tyres. The new surface is left for 14 days to allow the chippings to embed, after which point any residual chippings can be swept up before road markings are repainted.

It is important to keep to the temporary speed limits and avoid sharp turns, this will:

  • allow the surface to stabilise; and
  • prevent any damage to your vehicle.

It is inevitable that there may be some minor delays to traffic, however, every attempt will be made to reduce the disruption to road users while this improvement to North Yorkshire's roads is undertaken, including:

  • providing advance notice to those directly affected by the works;
  • where possible, traffic will be allowed past any machinery using manually operated 'stop/go' boards whilst the works are being carried out. In some cases roads may be too narrow for this, and drivers may have to use an alternative route for a short period; and
  • complete the works within a morning or afternoon and time the works to coincide with quiet periods. This can also include times earlier in the morning or later in the day when the temperatures are cooler.

Before starting any works our contractor will:

  • erect 'advance warning signs' on affected roads, stating the start date and duration of the works; and
  • send leaflets to adjacent residents giving information about the works and asking them to refrain from on-street parking on the day of the works. Parking obstruction and adverse weather are the main cause of delays.

You can help us to get the job done without delay and with minimal disruption by:

  • not parking on the road (during the day) until the road has been surface dressed and the initial sweeping has been completed;
  • keeping pets and children away from the area for safety and cleanliness;
  • keeping to the temporary speed limits and avoiding sharp turns or heavy braking to allow the surface to stabilise and to prevent damage to your vehicle;
  • check your shoes before entering your car or home; and
  • remove bitumen stains promptly with a cleaning product for the safe removal of tar, these are available from most car accessory shops or garages.