Maintaining our roads

Update: 19 May: Progress with potholes

We are still receiving high numbers of reports of potholes and it is sometimes taking us longer than usual to make repairs. However, we are pleased to report that the situation is improving.

Councils across the country have seen a huge increase in the number of potholes this year. We have been working hard this year to improve Surrey's roads and have had over 30 teams addressing potholes on Surrey's roads all year. We have been repairing approximately 1000 potholes every week and are completing many resurfacing schemes. The number of new reports of potholes are dropping and the number of previously reported ones being fixed is increasing.


This week

Last Week

Average per week in April

Average per week in May (so far)


Potholes reported by the public





Potholes fixed





While this is clearly good news, we know there are still significant numbers of potholes that need addressing urgently and we are increasing the number of teams maintaining our roads. We are also continuing to focus on priority areas such as busy town centres and busy A roads.

If a pothole has an orange ring painted around it has been inspected and we will be going back to fix it. Please do not report potholes that have already been inspected.

We can't be everywhere all at once, but we will get there.

We may have to carry out a temporary repair initially, which could be because of the traffic management needs in highly trafficked areas or because the ground is wet and permanent repair could not be carried out.

We are aware that there are some locations that have deteriorated more than we can fix with pothole repairs. Some of these locations will be on our Horizon programme for more substantial repairs over the next year. In these locations we may carry out some temporary large patches or may use the "jet patcher" to keep the road safe until the Horizon scheme is programmed.

In other locations where there is no Horizon scheme planned in the next year we are developing an "emergency patching programme" so that we can carry out areas of resurfacing where roads have significantly deteriorated over the winter. There may be an increase in temporary pothole repairs in these locations so that we can make the road safe while planning for the emergency patching programme.

There are a number of improvements that have been made with regards to the safety defect service in recent months, these include;

  • Introduction of oversized defect repairs. This is one of the biggest changes that has been adopted and aims to fix multiple defects in one patch size of between 2 and 15m2. The larger patch repair is more resilient and lasts longer than multiple small patches.
  • Introduced mobile hot boxes and additional hot boxes in depots so the gangs have sufficient material of good quality to carry out all the repairs required.
  • Changed operational delivery depots for greater county coverage, improving response time and efficiency of gangs, so they spend less time travelling and stuck in any traffic.
  • Changed scheduling techniques to prioritise an area-based approach to ensure that identified safety defects along a road are being repaired in one visit rather than by repeat visits to meet target timescales.

In addition, we have been trialling different repair materials, the use of a mobile hot asphalt batching vehicle and using the JCB pothole pro unit.

Please bear with us and take care as you drive, cycle and walk around our network while we work to improve it.

Why are there more Potholes during the winter months?

We see a significant increase in the number of potholes following periods of snow, ice and heavy rain, as is common during the winter months. This is because heavy rainfall falls into cracks which then expand when temperatures freeze. This then causes the road surfaces to crumble which is a problem being experienced all around the country, not just in Surrey.

How long will it take to fix a pothole?

We usually aim to repair potholes within a month, and some will be done sooner depending on severity, however it may take us longer to get to them during peak periods.

Why do we sometimes make a temporary repair?

Our priority is to ensure the safety of the highway. We therefore sometimes need to put temporary repairs in place, purely as an interim measure. This might be an issue with traffic management or because of weather such as flooding, but we will always return to complete a full repair.

Why do some potholes get fixed quicker than others?

We want to fix as many potholes as possible and as quickly as possible. We have some of the country's busiest 3,000 miles of roads and this naturally takes its toll but we're working incredibly hard to carry out as many repairs as possible, prioritising safety defects by their severity.

What else can be done?

  • We're investing £188m on improving and maintaining our roads and pavements over the next five years
  • Between April and December 2022 we resurfaced 21 miles of roads and 13 miles of pavements which is over 20% more than the same period in 2021
  • Where appropriate we are using new, larger-scale fixes to provide lasting pothole fixes first time
  • We're trialling video/AI and machine learning to speed up detection of potholes and other safety defects
  • Our data analysis has improved which means we can now compare pothole data with other data such as flooding data to determine areas that need more than just pothole filling.

Report a pothole

Report the general condition of a road

What road maintenance involves

Surrey County Council is responsible for maintaining approximately 4800 km (3000 miles) of roads. We repair potholes and other minor defects throughout the year when they come to our attention and meet our highway safety standards.

As part of our Highways Maintenance Programme, we carry out three types of work on the road:

  • Resurfacing - where we remove the top of the road and put a new road surface down. This is undertaken where there are problems in the underlying structure of the road.
  • Preventative maintenance - we carry out work to the top of the road to improve the skid resistance, increase the lifespan of roads and reduce the risk of potholes. To find out more about what this involves, see our page about surface dressing.
  • Extensive repairs - this is to sections of the road which are damaged. We cut out the damaged sections of the road, including any wider deterioration, and replace them.

Proposed road maintenance in your area

We are currently undertaking a programme of major highway maintenance known as Operation Horizon, to view a full list of the roads, please visit our Horizon highways maintenance page.

To check if any other maintenance is planned for your area please visit our roadworks page.

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