ADEPT and DfT release pothole guidance


Guidance commissioned by the Department for Transport on tackling potholes has been released.

Council directors from the Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning and Transport (ADEPT) launched the advice note - ‘Potholes – a Repair Guide' to help struggling, underfunded local authorities.

While best practice calls for planned asset management to prevent potholes forming in the first place, ADEPT said the current funding situation meant that for many councils the network 'is now far beyond the point where preventative maintenance techniques alone will suffice'.

ADEPT president Neil Gibson said: 'The increase in potholes on today’s roads is the consequence of years of under investment. There needs to be a change in approach and focus on preventing potholes from the outset.

'Local authorities should adopt permanent repairs as their first position; temporary repairs should only be used when safety cannot be guaranteed or in emergency circumstances.

'It should be an aspiration for any local highway authority to maximise the proportion of first-time repairs to garner long-term resilience for our highways.'

The research was commissioned following the intense weather of the 2017/18 winter, which caused more potholes to appear on Britain’s roads.

Many authorities 'were forced to compromise by prioritising gritting over filling in potholes or vice-versa to keep the road network safe and moving', ADEPT revealed.

The report gives a basic breakdown of the many considerations around potholes. 

The following factors may influence the type of repair that is undertaken:

  • Existing road structure, particularly thin evolved roads
  • Traffic type and volume
  • Weather / climate / season
  • Road geography / alignment
  • Quantity / clustering of defects
  • Defect location relative to road width (i.e. vehicular wheel path)
  • Traffic management for that physical environment
  • Risk level
  • Safety criteria / urgency

The following repairs are advised under the following circumstances:


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