Pavement and road repairs

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

Report a problem

Complete the pavement and road repairs online reporting form or contact our Customer Centre on 01273 29 29 29.

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 kerb, in middle of 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 as 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 on 01273 29 29 29, you can always call for an update. Please leave enough time for our staff to have investigated and reported back their findings.

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

Please note that 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 the council has been negligent, please inform us by completing the public liability claim form (MS Word 1.1MB). To avoid delays in processing please ensure that national insurance number and date of birth are included.

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

Please return the completed form to or post it to:

Insurance Section, Brighton & Hove City Council
3rd Floor, Bartholomew House
Bartholomew Square

Utility company street works

These street works are carried out by organisations such as Southern Water and BT. They carry out about 9,000 works each year in the city to repair, maintain and install their equipment. The council inspects these works and if they are found to be of a poor standard or dangerous to vehicles or pedestrians, the company will be charged with a penalty and directed to make the work safe.

If you have any queries relating to these street works, please contact the council on 01273 29 29 29 or email us

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, while 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 that are 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 usually receives an immediate response in order 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 so on.

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

This means that 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.

So, 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 where 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 from 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 the city’s roads. In these circumstances, we will 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 the city’s highway network over the long term.

Strategy for Well-Managed Highway Infrastructure

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