North East Lincolnshire Council


We are responsible for the maintenance of 618 km (386 miles) of adopted roads within North East Lincolnshire. To meet our statutory duties, we have a system of safety inspections and repairs for all the adopted roads within North East Lincolnshire. You can find out more information about potholes in North East Lincolnshire by reading the frequently asked questions in the expandable menu below.

Report a pothole

Let us know about a pothole by completing our Road and footpaths repairs form.

There are a number of factors that contribute to the deterioration of the road surface and the formation of potholes. Potholes occur throughout the year as road surfaces age, becoming less flexible and more susceptible to cracking. Deterioration is accelerated by water ingress, heavy traffic, and extremes of temperature.

More potholes appear during and after the winter season and are caused by the freeze – thaw conditions experienced at that time of year. Water penetrates through cracks in the road surface and freezes when temperatures drop. The expansion and contraction process when water freezes and thaws undermines the stability of the road surface, causing local failure of the surface.

We consider that a pothole is defined as a sharp edged defect in the road surface 40mm or more deep and extending in any one direction more than 300mm.

If a section of the road deteriorates and is less than 40mm deep it is not considered to be a pothole.

A defect in the surface which is at the required depth (40mm or more) but does not extend more than 300 mm may still be considered as a defect, and prioritised for repair, but is not classed as a pothole.

To ensure the roads in North East Lincolnshire remain in a safe condition, we carry out regular safety inspections. The frequency of the inspection is dependent on the road type and the traffic using it. From these inspections, all defects needing attention are recorded and repaired in accordance with our Highway Inspection and Maintenance Policy (PDF).

If pot holes appear between inspections we appreciate reports from the public which help us find the issues.

Wherever possible we aim to carry out a permanent repair straight away. In some circumstances a temporary repair is carried out depending on the circumstances and public safety risk. This is a short term measure, with a permanent repair scheduled soon after.

Temporary repairs will also be considered where the road will be having for more extensive patching or resurfacing works within the next 12 months.

A typical permanent repair would see the area of road around the pothole cut out to give a clean vertical edge. Any loose material is removed from the area being repaired and is then painted with liquid bituminous binder. The area is filled with a hot bitumen bound material which is raked and compacted to the level of the surrounding road.

With limited resources available, we have to prioritise repairs to ensure that resources are used in the most effective way having regard to the safety of the road user.

An intervention level is a trigger point for us to undertake a repair when a defect occurs. When inspecting potholes the intervention level governs what priority is given to the repair.

A pothole in the road that is 100mm or more deep is classed as a “Category 1” defect.

A pothole in the road that is less than 100 mm deep is classed as a “Category 2” defect.

Potholes and road surface defects are prioritised based on the potential hazard. A pothole in the road that is 100mm or more deep is classed as a “Category 1” defect. A pothole in the road that is less than 100 mm deep is classed as a “Category 2” defect.

  • Category 1 defects that represent an immediate or imminent hazard will be made safe or repaired within 24 hours.
  • Category 2 defects that, following a risk assessment, do not represent an immediate or imminent hazard, will be repaired within 28 days on the busier parts of the road network, or within three months on less trafficked roads.

Highway Maintenance Section, Doughty Road Depot, Doughty Road, Grimsby, North East Lincolnshire, DN32 0LL

Telephone: 01472 326300