Potholes

Report a pothole

You can report potholes by using our online reporting tool.

Fix My Street

Potholes requiring urgent attention should be reported by calling 01296 382 416.

 

How are potholes created?

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.

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. 

 

Repair

Sometimes it's necessary to make a temporary repair to make the road safe. A permanent repair is made where possible, this involves:

  • cutting out the area around the pothole to make a uniform shape with no jagged edges
  • cleaning out and coating with a layer of binder to act as an adhesive
  • filling the hole with hot road surfacing material which is then raked and compacted
  • reopening the road to traffic once the surfacing material has cooled

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

Snow and ice

After periods of snow and sub zero temperatures the number of potholes increases. This is due to the freezethaw cycle.

TfB will work through these in the same way.

 

Alternatives

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.

 

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