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Potholes – how we decide what to do about them?

When we receive a report of a pothole, or when our highways officer identify an issue on their inspection routes, we carefully examine the pothole to decide how urgently it needs repaired. We use our Network Maintenance Management Plan to do this. But, it does usually depend on the damage to the road, how busy the road is, and what is the best use of our resources.

Other factors which contribute to the priority of making a repairs include the depth of the pothole, the size, the location, the volume of traffic and the speed of the road.

What are temporary repairs?

We use temporary repairs in wet or icy conditions as a permanent repair would not work in these conditions, the hot material would instantly cool before enough compaction could be achieved and the ice or water would prevent the repair bonding to the road.

When the weather is better we do endeavour to make permanent repairs although this does take more time and resource to carry out.

In some cases a series of pothole may be a sign that there’s an underlying issue with the road surface and further treatment may be needed. In this instance we would use a temporary repair.

Why do we use the Jetpatcher?

After a period of bad weather when we need to repair a large number of potholes shortly we may use the Jetpatcher, also known as the Velocity Patcher.

The Jetpatcher can make pothole repairs in just two minutes which allows our team to carry out repairs without closing the road, meaning less disruption to the public.

The lifespan on the repair will depend on the location, the volume of traffic and the weather when repairs were made but studies show that some Jetpatcher repairs can last for up to 5 years.

There have been potholes on the road for a while, when will they get repaired?

If the reported pothole does need attention but does not pose an immediate danger to the driver, it may be cost effective to plan longer lasting repair work. This is the asset management approach we use to manage our road network. 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. 

Through this approach we are able to stop roads getting into a condition where a more expensive preventative treatment is needed or where potholes or other defects might become more common.

This approach means that you could see us working on roads that are, on the face of it, in a better condition than others, however this is done to maximise the long term benefit for the money that we have.

How often do we check reported potholes?

We will monitor the state of current known potholes during monthly inspection routes of main roads to ensure that the pothole has not worsened. If it has then we will step in and carry out the repair which is best for the location.

How many have we repaired?

The table below shows all pothole repairs by quarter. The most recent quarter is shown first. It also shows a running total of repairs we've done in 2023.

This folder contains CSV files showing each repair we carried out at a deeper level – by ward and by road.

View potholes repaired

Title Quarter 4 Quarter 3 Quarter 2 Quarter 1 Running total for 2023
Ampthill 33 37 42 47 159
Arlesey and Fairfield 3 11 38 10 62
Aspley and Woburn 19 23 12 87 141
Barton-Le-Clay and Silsoe 25 35 29 124 213
Biggleswade 41 27 78 105 251
Caddington 84 31 46 183 344
Clifton, Henlow and Langford 15 28 60 82 185
Cranfield and Marston Moreteyne 46 65 70 141 322
Dunstable 109 78 16 359 562
Eaton Bray 3 28 33 98 162