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A pothole is where the surface of the road has been eroded and a hollow has formed. After a cold spell, the roads will be in a worse state as potholes are created in four steps:

  1. As roads age they become more porous, having been worn down by traffic. 
  2. Cold weather then turns to ice, therefore expanding and pushing the tarmac up and out.
  3. Gaps are created in the tarmac when the ice thaws and turns back into water.
  4. These gaps get bigger with each time it freezes and thaws which weakens the road.
  5. The gaps then cave in when traffic travels over the road, causing a pothole.

Potholes requiring urgent attention should be reported by calling 01296 382416.

Our Inspectors will assess the potholes and decide what needs to be done. This will vary, from a two hour response through to a 28 day repair. Repairs are prioritised based on risk, and we have teams available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Around 2,000 potholes are repaired each month, and the roads are inspected regularly according to a schedule. This means a lot of potholes will be picked up by these inspections and programmed for repair. 


Sometimes it is necessary to make a temporary repair to make the road safe, however where possible a permanent repair will be made.

A permanent repair involves cutting out the area around the pothole to make a uniform shape with no jagged edges.

This hole is then cleaned out and coated with a layer of binder to act as an adhesive. The hole is filled with hot road surfacing material, then raked and compacted. Once this material has cooled, the road can be reopened to traffic.

Transport for Buckinghamshire now also uses a JetPatcher vehicle. This system blasts material into the pothole at high speed, prior to an initial coat of bitumen bonding. This repairs the defect without the need for rollers or loud vibrating tools. 

After periods of snow and sub zero temperatures the number of potholes on roads increases due to the freezethaw cycle. TfB will work through these in the same way.


In some instances the road may be such that permanent pothole repairs are not possible. We will then arrange to 'plane and patch' the area or other road surfacing may be the only suitable repair process.

If you see a pothole that is in need of repair please use our online reporting tool.

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