A pothole can be anything from a minor nuisance to an outright hazard
A pothole can be anything from a minor nuisance to an outright hazard
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How to Report Road Issues and Degradations

Taking your business on the road means encountering all sorts of problems. Some of them we can all take part in fixing, for instance by reporting dangerous road issues and degradations.

Taking your business on the road means encountering all sorts of problems. Some of them we can all take part in fixing, for instance by reporting dangerous road issues and degradations.

Reporting a problem encountered on the road is doing your bit to help make the roads safer for everyone. Local and other responsible authorities are not all-seeing and all-knowing, and could certainly use a hand.

What you can do about pavement hazards

Local authorities are responsible for a wide range of actions regarding road upkeep and waste collection. In England and Wales, for instance, anyone can apply to their local authority to make arrangements for collection of large waste items. Some local authorities also provide a service for home collection of garden waste. Reporting potential hazards is a public-spirited way to contribute. Most councils are responsible for maintaining the majority of pavements, including removing weeds and replacing broken or missing slabs, and responding to problems with street furniture, road signs, vandalism and graffiti. You can enquire about, or report, any of these issues through the Government website . Other options include contacting your local authority directly or through the Fix My Street website, which covers the whole of the UK.

How to address highway hazards

Oil spills need swift specialist treatment
Oil spills need swift specialist treatment

On local roads, you can report obstructions such as mud, illegal signs, overhanging tree branches, hedges, and builders’ skips or scaffolding to the local council. You can do this through the Government website , but similar obstructions or potholes on roads managed by Highways England should be reported to the latter. You can contact them at info@highwaysengland.co.uk or call 0300 123 5000. A map showing which roads come under Highways England jurisdiction is available here. Use the same contacts for reporting a road spillage such as oil, mud, sand or dropped cargo. To report an abandoned vehicle, the local authority is the responsible body.

How to report fly tipping and illegal dumping

In England and Wales illegal dumping and fly tipping should be reported through the local authority, through the same link on the government website above. In Scotland, use the dumb dumpers website to report fly tipping or call 0845 2 30 40 90. In Northern Ireland, you can report illegal dumping through the Northern Ireland Environment Agency or call 028 9056 9453.

Hazardous waste and large-scale illegal dumping

If, on your travels, you notice large-scale illegal dumping or any hazardous waste, you can report it directly to Crimestoppers , on their website or by calling 0800 555 111. You can do so anonymously through both routes if you wish.

Getting compensation for road-caused damage

Debris from another vehicle is a matter to be settled by your insurance. But what if your business van is damaged by a road hazard, such as potholes, damaged surfaces, or hidden obstacles? Contact the relevant organisation and tell them what the damage was, why you think they are responsible, as well as the place, time, and date of the damage. Here’s how to identify the relevant authority:

Who to contact for road damage claims

In London, contact Transport for London. If you think the location was on a red route, you can check its status here. For the rest of England, most A roads and motorways are managed by Highways England and you can check their website here. On other English roads, first report the problem to the local authority and then contact them about compensation. In Scotland, you can find the authority responsible for A roads and motorways through Transport Scotland or for other roads contact the local authority. In Wales contact Traffic Wales for main roads and local authorities for others. In Northern Ireland, contact the Department for Infrastructure for problems for all types of roads.

Of course, prevention is better than cure. The more people going about their daily business take the trouble to report problems, the more we all benefit.