Pavement and road repairs

How to report a problem with a road in the city.

Report a problem

To report a problem:

Please provide:

  • the location including street name and area of the city, for example, Portslade, Brighton
  • any nearby house number, shop, junction or other identifiable landmark
  • a description of the problem including size and depth
  • where in the road or pavement, like by a kerb or in the middle of a carriageway
  • your contact details in case we need to ask you for more information

Pothole repairs

What happens with a pothole depends on the site assessment of risk.

The options are:

  1. Repair in 2 hours, 24 hours, 7 days or 28 days.
  2. Repair as part of other programmed works such as resurfacing or larger patching works.
  3. Monitor as part of the safety inspections programme when the current risk is not sufficient to require repair at this time.

Tracking your report

If you have reported the problem through our customer centre by phoning 01273 29 29 29, you can phone back for an update. Leave enough time for our staff to investigate and report back their findings.

If you have reported the problem through our website, you will receive a reply within 10 days.

We do not report back through independent portals such as Fix My Street but we do investigate everything we receive through these channels.

Dropped kerbs for vehicle access to a property

You can apply for a licence to construct a vehicle cross-over or dropped kerb for access to your property.

Public liability insurance claim

If you have had an accident on the public highway and wish to make a claim against Brighton & Hove City Council because you believe we have been negligent, you should complete a public liability claim form (MS Word 1.1MB).

To avoid delays in processing ensure that your national insurance number and date of birth are included.

If you're unable to download the form from the link above, contact the Insurance Section to request one is sent in the post.

You can:

  • return the completed form by email to
  • post the completed form to: Insurance, ESCC Legal Services, PO Box 2714, County Hall, Lewes, BN7 1UE

Utility company street works

These street works are carried out by organisations such as Southern Water and BT. Utility companies carry out about 9,000 works each year in the city to repair, maintain and install their equipment.

Brighton & Hove City Council inspects these works. If they're found to be of a poor standard or dangerous to vehicles or pedestrians, the company will be:

  • charged with a penalty
  • directed to make the work safe

If you have any queries relating to these street works:

What we do

Highway safety maintenance

We work to ensure that our roads, pavements and cycleways are safe for people to use.

We carry out inspections of every one of our roads, pavements, footpaths and cycle lanes. Busier roads and pavements are inspected once a month and less busy areas are inspected every 3 or 6 months.

Highway Inspectors look after:

  • over 1,200kms (more than 750 miles) of footpaths, this is the equivalent of walking from Brighton to the south of France
  • 624km (390 miles) of roads/cycle lanes, this is the equivalent of driving from Brighton to Scotland

All reports of potential hazards received from members of the public, elected members and other agencies are also investigated by the team. This is in addition to the inspection regime and we usually give an immediate response to minimise any problems.

Highway defects

Any potential hazards are called defects. Defects on the roads, pavements and cycle lanes can include raised kerbs or paving, potholes, broken railings, missing slabs and more.

All defects are investigated to see if they require repair in accordance with government guidance. The government accepts that the highway cannot be completely smooth or defect-free.

Not every defect will be repaired. The Highway Inspection team will make decisions based on each individual problem, including size, depth, location and degree of risk to users.

A paving slab that is sticking high up into the air will get repaired once we know about it, but broken paving slabs that may look unsightly but still present a relatively smooth surface will not get replaced.


Potholes occur when an area of the road's surface has broken up and fallen out.  

We know that potholes and defects may arise between our inspections, particularly in late winter and early spring.

Potholes are the most obvious form of defect on our roads.

Sometimes the word ‘pothole’ is used as a general term to mean any type of carriageway defects.

The definition of an actual pothole is a hole of sufficient diameter or length and depth to cause a significant hazard. This means that it allows a vehicle tyre to drop into the hole and hit an opposing edge, causing damage to the tyre or wheel.

However, there are many other sorts of defects, like:

  • unevenness
  • minor or major crazing
  • road surface picking out
  • polishing

These are not potholes but our Highway Inspectors need to look at everything and decide whether and when a repair is warranted, depending on severity, location and other factors.


Timescales for repairs will vary according to the severity of the defect. Orders will be raised for a contractor to repair within 2 hours, 24 hours, 7 days or 28 days, depending on the nature, location and type of problem.

Severe weather

During severe weather, such as very wet or very cold periods, the highway suffers from damage such as materials washing out or trees being uprooted. 

In icy weather, a freeze-thaw action can cause the highway to expand and contract, with subsequent damage.

It is not always possible to get to every defect within the usual timescales, because of the amount of problems that arise all over Brighton & Hove's roads. In these circumstances, we'll prioritise the most urgent issues wherever possible.

Highways asset management policy and strategy

Our highways asset management policy and strategy describes how we will maintain Brigton & Hove's highway network over the long term.

Strategy for Well-Managed Highway Infrastructure

Our Strategy for Well-Managed Highway Infrastructure describes how we're keeping to national highway standards.