Potholes

We're responsible for the maintenance of over 574km (366 miles) of highways in Darlington – this includes the identification and repairing of potholes. We fill in an average of 6000 - 8000 potholes a year.

Although we do all we can to keep the roads and pathways safe, we cannot repair every pothole as soon as it is formed. This page will help you to understand what we do, how we identify potholes and how they get repaired.

Although we inspect the highways on a regular basis, we need you to help us by reporting potholes as soon as you spot them.

How can I report a pothole?

You can report a pothole using our online report it system. Alternatively you can call us on 01325 388799.

What information is needed when reporting a pothole?

  • your contact details – in case we need to get in touch with you for more information
  • description of the pothole – what is the approximate size of the pothole, and where in the road is it located
  • location of the pothole – please include as much detail as possible so we can find the pothole; this is especially important in rural areas. This includes:
    • the name of the road
    • any identifiable landmarks near the pothole (for example, a nearby house, streetlight or junction)

I’ve reported a pothole, what happens next?

When you report a pothole to us, we will send someone out within 24 hours of us receiving the report. They will then determine how urgently the pothole needs repairing.

Once inspected, the pothole will be either repaired within 20 days or five days. The most dangerous potholes will be repaired in 24 hours or less. Our pothole filling team are out all day throughout the year.

Do you inspect the roads for potholes?

As well as reacting to requests to fix potholes, we inspect the roads for potholes. This is done every three months on urban roads and every 30 days on rural roads, as well as roads in the town centre.

We determine how urgently any potholes we spot need repairing and then they are repaired within 20 days or five days. The most dangerous potholes will be repaired in 24 hours or less. Our pothole filling team are out all day throughout the year.

We publish a list of all our highway schemes for the financial year, including potholes repairs

How do you decide which potholes are repaired?

If a pothole on a carriageway is less than 40mm (1.6in) or less than 20mm (0.8in) on a footway – it will not be repaired; however we will keep inspecting it to make sure it does not get worse.

Pothole under 40mm   Pothole over 40mm

The pothole on the left is less than 40mm so it would not be repaired. The pothole on the right is more than 40mm so it would be repaired.

Which roads are you responsible for fixing?

We are responsible for the majority of highways and footpaths in Darlington, however there are some roads we are not responsible for:

  • We are not responsible for fixing potholes on the A66 or the A1 – these roads are maintained by the Highways Agency [external link]
  • We are not responsible for fixing potholes on private roads – these roads are the responsibility of the resident/landowner
  • We are not responsible for supermarket/shop car parks. These are the responsibility of the supermarket/shop

My street is full of potholes, but you only filled in some of them - why?

We do not repair potholes on a street-by-street basis; we repair them by level of urgency. This means that we will repair the biggest and most urgent potholes in your street first, and come back to repair the less urgent ones at a later date.

Are you responsible for damage to vehicles or personal injury as a result of potholes? Can I sue?

No, not usually. We are only potentially liable to pay for damage to vehicles or personal injury if we have been negligent. We are not expected to keep roads free of potholes at all times. Unfortunately, when conditions are severe, potholes will be more common. Road users must therefore be on the look out and take greater care after severe weather.

More information about claims

Potholes fund bid

In the 2014 Budget Statement, the Government announced the creation of a pothole fund worth £200 million, with £168 million being made available to highway authorities to help repair damage to the local road network. The funding will be made available through a bidding process, the results of which will be released by Government later in the year.

Darlington Borough Councils pothole fund bid [pdf document]

Number of potholes repaired

Here is a running total of the potholes we repair

Number of potholes repaired
  2013/20142014/20152015/20162016/2017
April 1,252 777 673 765
May 1,271 483 741 598
June 1,129 660 738 1,021
July 835 697 423 346
August 528 569 356 699
September 378 701 235  
October 412 423 334  
November 556 580 255  
December 596 515 439  
January 506 674 500  
February 1,117 802 974  
March 910 1,123 943  
     
Total 9,490 8,004 6,611