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How to Complain About Potholes

There has already been huge news coverage of the UK’s pothole epidemic.  The budgets of local authorities are under huge pressure and the problem is getting worse.  Potholes can shred your tyres or worse, cause a traffic accident.  While the dangers are obvious the question remains: what can you do?

When it comes to reporting a pothole, your first port of call should be your local authority since they have the legal responsibility to maintain the roads under their control.  If you live on a private road then the situation is different and repairs will be the responsibility of the estate to which you belong.

If you go onto the website of your local authority, you should be able to submit a complaint to the Highways Department and/or to file a more general complaint.  

The “scatter-gun” approach may also be worth exploring, namely a complaint directly to the local authority’s Chief Executive, Mayor, Head of the Highways Department and a few councillors for good measure.  With a bit of cunning it is usually not too difficult to find their email addresses online – although there’s no harm in hard-copy letters too.  

Whatever of these methods you choose, you must be persistent. Do not give up just because your first volley of complaints fails to get a response – patience and persistence are key to all complaints!

Dangerous roads are a topical subject for the media and social media.  Spreading the word about a perilous pot hole might just make the local authority prioritise the repair since, having been put on notice, their legal liability in the event of an accident increases.

Another angle of attack is to contact and submit a complaint to your local MP.  You can usually complain via their website or even make an appointment to see them in extreme cases.

If you feel that your local authority is evading its legal responsibilities through sheer ineptitude feel free to contact the Local Government Ombudsman – see who may apply pressure to kick them into action.  This service is free so there is no downside to lobbing in a grenade of this kind.

Finally, think in terms of a petition – digital or otherwise.  The collective power of everyone on your road is likely to be more powerful than your voice!

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