Potholes and road condition issues

Report a non-urgent pothole or damaged road surface online and view details about how we maintain our roads.

Do it online

Report a pothole or road condition issue

If you prefer, you can tell us about a pothole or road condition issue anonymously, but you will miss out on the benefits of having an account such as getting progress updates.

Not all roads are our responsibility

Motorways and trunk roads such as the A1, A1(M), M62, A66, A66(M), A64, A168 (Dishforth to Thirsk) and A19 (north of Thirsk) must be reported to National Highways.

In an emergency

If it's an emergency and poses a safety risk, contact us. Out of office hours, call North Yorkshire Police on 101. If there is danger to life, call 999.

How do we decide what to do about potholes?

When we receive a report of a pothole, or when our highways officers identify an issue during routine checks, we carefully examine the problem to decide how urgently we need to act. That usually depends on how serious the damage to the road is, and how busy the road is. It also depends on what is the best use we can make of our resources, staff and repair vehicles.

We prioritise the repair of potholes based on the level of risk to road users. If a pothole has been inspected and assessed as needing attention, it will be added to a programme of work. We prioritise road repair based on a number of factors including the depth, size and location of the pothole on the road; the volume of traffic; and the speed of the road.

Repairing potholes is only one part of our wider programme of road maintenance works. Find out more about the different road maintenance techniques we use, when we use them and why.

Frequently asked questions

Why do you temporarily repair some potholes?

There are several reasons why temporary repairs are made.

  • in wet or icy conditions a permanent repair wouldn't actually work - the hot bitumen would instantly cool before adequate compaction could be achieved and the ice or water would also prevent the repair bonding to the road
  • permanent repairs take more time and, depending on their location, may require a road closure or temporary traffic lights to be brought in
  • potholes, or a series of them, may be symptomatic of a more general, underlying problem on the stretch of road - this requires further investigation and potential resurfacing of an entire road section, and is a larger job and so can't be done immediately

There have been potholes on the road for a while. When will they be repaired?

If the reported pothole does need attention but does not pose an immediate hazard to the road user, it may be more cost effective to plan longer lasting repair work. We may be planning further works in the area and the pothole in question will be fixed as part of an overall programme of work. This is done to maximise the long term benefit for the money that we have.

This would then be prioritised according to how busy the road is and how much impact the work would have. We check the state of current known defects during monthly safety inspections of main roads to ensure that they have not worsened to the point where they now pose a hazard to road users. These safety inspections are carried out less frequently on low traffic roads where further erosion is likely to be slower due to the reduced traffic volumes.

You can find out more about how we decide what type of road repair treatment to use here.

I pay high vehicle tax and fuel prices, so why aren't the roads in better condition?

Funds from vehicle excise duty and fuel don't come directly to us, they go to central government. Each year, we receive an allocation of funds from central government which we must decide how to use.

We have faced some challenges such as government cuts, severe winters and a backlog of road maintenance that have delayed improving road conditions.

Whilst the required cuts are significant we should not lose sight of the fact that for the next four years we still expect to have between £54million and £57million available each year to deliver the highways service. Although the network we manage is vast (over 5,800 miles of roads, 2,600 miles of footways and 2,000 bridges) we still aim to deliver a high quality service. This covers all repair and improvement work, not just the repair of potholes.

Why should I report a pothole here rather than on a third party website?

If you wish to report a pothole or other highway fault, we encourage you to do so via our online reporting system. Reports made on our website are cheaper for the council to process and give you a speedier resolution where we are able to repair the fault, as they are immediately logged on to our system.

Reports received from third party sites can take up more staff time and do not always provide all the information we require. As we receive hundreds of emails it can take time to get to your report and log it in our system.

Can I claim against the council if a pothole has caused injury or damage to my property?

See the highway claims page for more details, including how to make a claim.