Potholes are the unavoidable result of an ageing highway surface being subjected to trafficking and adverse weather conditions. 

We undertake safety inspections on a regular basis on our entire highway network. 

As potholes can develop over a very short time it is possible that one can appear between inspections and consequently we are not aware of it.  This is why we appreciate you reporting them.

How do I report a pothole?

Report a pothole by using the link below:

Report a pothole 

For urgent problems or emergencies outside of normal office hours please telephone: 0300 1234 222.  Facebook and Twitter are not monitored 24 hours a day and may not be monitored at weekends.

When potholes will be filled

Safety is always our primary consideration.  Some of the factors we take into account when prioritising pothole treatment are:

  • the size and depth of the hole
  • the volume of traffic (vehicles or pedestrians)
  • speed of an affected road
  • the likelihood of the defect contributing to an accident.

How quickly we fill a pothole depends on two factors:

  • whether reported to us or identified during a safety inspection.
  • the priority we assign the defect.

Potholes reported to us will be inspected and prioritised as soon as practical.  If they are considered to be a significant hazard they will be treated by the end of the next working day. 

Those that are not likely to be dangerous are added to our list of programmed work and normally treated within six months, often as part of a wider patching or surfacing programme.  

Why we don’t resurface all old roads to prevent potholes from occurring

We are working hard to address this issue on our footways and carriageways and follow best practice guidence including the Highways Maintenance Efficiency Programme's Pothole Review and the ADEPT report on Pothole and Repair Techniques. 

The most effective way to deal with potholes is to prevent them from happening in the first place and we endeavour, where possible, to follow the maxim that prevention is better than cure; however, we simply do not have sufficient funds to implement this fully over the 7,200km of roads that we maintain.  

In order to make best use of our resources we operate a robust asset management approach which seeks to deliver the best possible value for the funds that we have at our disposal.

Surfacing is only a part of the work we do, so we prioritise works based on good Asset Management techniques and the funding that is made available.

The A38 and A30 Trunk roads are maintained by Highways England on behalf of central government so are not the responsibility of Cornwall Council.

What roads are to be surfaced?

We publish full details of our surface treatment programmes

Defective road surfaces

If you want to report the location of what you consider to be a defective road surface, as opposed to individual potholes, that is not covered by the surface treatment programme, please use this form to report a defective road surface

Examples of a what might be considered a defective road surface, as opposed to a pothole, could be:

  • large areas of uneven surface
  • depressions
  • trench failure
  • edge deterioration
  • crazing/crumbling road surface

Can a motorist claim compensation from the Council?

In most instances we are not responsible for injury or damages sustained due to potholes.  For more information please view our Highways Claim for Damage or Injury page.