Large pothole on Gill Street, Nottingham

As Nottinghamshire County Council pledges an extra £20 million to the highways capital programme, we take a look at some things you may not know about potholes. The money brings the total investment in fixing the county’s roads to £142 million – the highest amount in more than a decade.

A spokesman for Nottinghamshire County Council said: “The investment will be focused on roads assessed as being likely to deteriorate in the next few years.”

Roads in residential areas will also benefit from the scheme, the County Council said.

  1. Potholes are caused when a road repeatedly freezes and thaws out as temperature changes cause damage to the road surface. Potholes can appear at any time, but they are most common from this time of year up to early spring, due to the cold weather. Pothole reporting website fillthathole.org.uk shows that 31 potholes in Nottinghamshire have been reported in 2018, compared to four in August 2017.
  2. There are four different types of potholes. All potholes are inspected after being reported and placed into one of the following:
    -Emergency work: repaired within 2 hours
    -Category 1: repaired by the end of the next working day
    -Category 2 high: repaired within 7 days
    -Category 2 low: repaired within 28 days
  3. Ever wondered why a pothole has taken so long to be repaired, or hasn’t been repaired at all? A pothole must be at least 20mm deep for the council to fix it, and 40mm deep for it to be considered a safety concern. Nottinghamshire County Council said: “We have to prioritise our repair programme as maintenance funding is limited.” – this may no longer be an issue with the extra money invested.
  4. Plumtree, a village in Rushcliffe, held a birthday party in 2017 for a pothole that had been on their street for two years; complete with birthday cake.

  5. Different types of potholes require different methods of being fixed. If you have reported multiple potholes on one road and the council come to fix one but not the other, this may be because they only have the right materials with them to fix one. Small potholes are filled with a liquid, while tarmac is used for larger potholes. Roads with lots of potholes may even need to be completely resurfaced, these are the kinds of roads which the £20 million pledged will be used on.

    Smaller pothole on Hampden Street, Nottingham
  6. Nottingham roads are only inspected for damage once a year. If a pothole has been on a road for a long time and has neither been repaired nor marked then the council may not know about it. You should use the online form to report any pothole you’re aware of to ensure the council are able to fix it promptly.
  7. University of Nottingham led a study to find longer-lasting materials for resurfacing roads, where engineer Dr Garcia found that sunflower oil could be used to self heal roads and prevent potholes from occurring in the first place. Highways England is now trialling this method in parts of the country.
  8. If your car has been damaged by a pothole, you have the right to claim for the damage caused. In 2015, a total of 33 claims were made to Nottingham City Council for damage caused to wheels by potholes, with four being successful.