Potholes

If you see a pothole, please report the problem online.

When reporting a pothole, please provide the location of the pothole (exact location or adjacent house number or business) and the estimated size and depth.

If you consider the issue to be an immediate hazard to public safety, then please call immediately on 03330 035865 and we will arrange for a highway inspector to attend as a matter of emergency.

If you have not reported this pothole previously, please request a service notification is raised rather than a complaint. The pothole will still be assessed in the same way prior to any action being taken.

What size does a pothole have to be before it will be fixed?

A pothole defect is ‘actionable’ and warrants repair in Trafford when it reaches a depth of 40mm.

A carriageway pothole is described as “a sharp-edged defect of 40mm or greater in depth and extending in any one direction greater than 300mm”.

In a footway (or in a carriageway at a pedestrian crossing point), a pothole starts to become considered actionable where there exists a clear trip-face exceeding 20mm (about ¾ of an inch).

How long will it take to repair?

The speed at which a pothole will be repaired is dependent upon the severity of the defect and the potential risk it presents. Repair of an actionable pothole could be ordered at one of 3 priority levels:

Trafford's repair time for potholes
Status  Repair time

1 - Emergency

To be repaired within 24 hours

2 - Hurry

To be repaired within 7 days

3 - Normal

To be repaired within 28 days

How are necessary repairs prioritised?

As a local authority, we have a statutory duty to maintain highways that are repairable at public expense under The Highways Act of 1980. Unfortunately, the available budgets for highway maintenance do not permit us to aim to repair every defect that arises. As a result, prioritisation is therefore an essential element of everything that we do and in this respect we must necessarily have regard to established case-law, to national guidelines and to local policies that apply specifically within Trafford to properly assess and prioritise each and every defect that arises.

The effect of all these is to concentrate the need for repair very much upon the extent of the defect concerned and on the potential hazard that it represents. In the specific case of potholes therefore, our assessment and prioritisation for repair must take regard not only of the size and depth of the pothole but also of its specific location in the highway and the overall potential risk that it represents.

A few very simple and straightforward demonstrations of how this prioritisation works in practice would be as follows:

  •  A pothole which appeared in a highly trafficked road (e.g. the A56) would attract greater urgency than it would if it appeared in a much lighter trafficked residential road;
  • A pothole in a carriageway but located at an expected pedestrian crossing point (e.g. at a pedestrian crossing or at a road junction where pedestrians would normally be crossing), would attract greater urgency than it would if located elsewhere in the road.
  • A pothole located in the normal wheel-track of passing traffic would attract greater urgency than it would in another part of the road where vehicles are less likely to come into direct contact with it.

This is by no means intended to represent an exhaustive list of the different considerations that must be made however, and many other factors might also be relevant in different locations.

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