How to report problems with roads, potholes drains and lighting

When you’re driving to and from work or when you’re out and about at the weekend you can’t do much about the other drivers on the road or the pedestrians on the pavements and things get even more frustrating when you throw some road works into the mix. 

The last thing you need are more obstacles slowing you down, so, when you encounter a gigantic pothole, some faulty street lights or a blocked drain it can put a real dampener on your journey. Fortunately, with these particular problems, there is something you can do – report them. 

How to find out who is responsible for the problem with the road

Reporting faults such as broken streetlights, potholes, blocked drains and even cases of fly tipping is easy when you go online. However, before you start wording your complaint, you need to establish who’s responsible for the road you are reporting. 

Each stretch of road (excluding London roads, main trunk roads and motorways) in the UK falls under the responsibility of the local council for that area. If you’re not sure which council covers which area you can use this handy tool – all you need is the postcode of the road you’re reporting which you can easily find online. 

If you want to report a fault on a main trunk road or motorway you’ll need to go to the Highways agency. You can use this handy resource to identify the road you wish to notify them about. 

If the road is in London, then TFL is responsible for maintenance and you’ll need to report to them. They provide an interactive site that can be used by anyone to report faults and problems with roads. 

How to go about reporting the problem

Each council has at least a dedicated page on their site for reporting faults, but some councils make the job of reporting faults easier than others. You can also call the council if you don’t have access to the Internet. 

If you don’t want to go directly to the council or you can’t find what you’re looking for, you can use a site such as and report the fault through them. You can pinpoint the exact location of the fault on their interactive map, upload photos and add a description of anything from potholes and broken paving slabs to graffiti. Once you’ve sent all the details, they pass them to the appropriate council. 

There is also a website dedicated to reporting potholes - claim that potholes are estimated to cause up to 1 in 10 mechanical failures on UK roads and cost motorists an estimated £730 million every year, so they take tackling the problem very seriously. They offer advice on making a claim if your car has been damaged and allow motorists to find and report potholes on their interactive map. 

They even have a section for motorists to share their pothole stories and experiences – which could be a great place to let off some steam the next time you encounter a tyre-destroying hole in the road. 



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