Report a pothole
What is a pothole?
A pothole is a hollow or hole in the surface of the carriageway or footway and they occur throughout the year but are more likely to form in the winter months. Potholes most often occur on older road surfaces where the surface has deteriorated and cracks form. These cracks will then allow water to seep into the road and can accelerate its deterioration and create the formation of potholes. In addition, if the water freezes damage is created from the expansion of the ice when it freezes. Further damage to the surface of the road or footway is caused when the ice thaws and the surface contracts. When traffic passes over the damaged road surface, it can further crack and break allowing a hole or hollow to appear.
How big are potholes?
For a pothole to be defined and fixed it is usually deeper than 20mm and wider in diameter than 200mm for a footway and deeper than 40mm and wider in diameter than 200mm for a carriageway. The County Council Works within the guidance provided by the Department for Transport in how to identify, manage and repair potholes and other defects.
How do we identify and repair potholes?
We have a duty to maintain the roads, but we can only fill a pothole if we know about it.
We carry out regular safety inspections of the roads and members of the public can report potholes to us on our website by reporting a pothole. Of course, potholes and other defects may occur in between inspections, especially during wet and freezing spells of weather, which is why we welcome people reporting them to us.
The severity of the pothole and, therefore, the urgency of treating it, is determined by the risk it poses to road users. This is why we inspect reported potholes and risk assess them to prioritise their repair. They’ll either be classed as urgent or will be put into a planned programme of works to ensure they are repaired as efficiently as possible.
To help us prioritise when a pothole is fixed, we take into consideration many factors that include its location, size and depth of pothole; traffic type, speed and volume; road type, alignment and visibility and also the position in relation to road width.
You can read more about how we identify, report, track and repair potholes including their prevention in our approach and methodology called 'Fixing and repairing potholes in Worcestershire'.
For more info, please see: Fixing and repairing potholes (PDF).
How do we pay for the repairs?
Pothole inspections and repairs are funded from Worcestershire County Council’s highways maintenance budget and from the Government’s Pothole Action Fund. In line with the Government's Pothole Review Report published in 2012, Worcestershire County Council adopt the view that prevention is better than cure to prevent potholes forming. For this reason, we have used the Pothole Action Fund for the last three years to carry out a number of preventative treatments.