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Reporting damaged or missing manhole covers

Please note: When reporting manhole covers, you will be required to provide accurate location details.


Any issues with manhole covers should be reported to the owner. Most manhole covers in Surrey are owned by utility companies and they are legally responsible for any repairs or replacements.

Reporting manhole covers or other ironwork (eg gully cover)

Emergency repairs or replacements

If the manhole cover is severely damaged or missing and you believe it poses a high risk to vehicle or pedestrian safety, you must telephone 0300 200 1003 immediately to request an emergency repair.

  • Reporting utility company owned manhole covers
    If possible, find out which utility company owns the defective or missing manhole cover and report it directly to them as soon as possible. See contact the utility company page for details. Please note: Reporting non urgent utility owned manhole covers to us could delay the permanent repair because we would have to spend time investigating and sending the report to the owner.
  • Reporting Surrey County Council owned manhole covers or if you don't know the owner
    Report issue using our 'Ironwork' online form Guidance can be found in our help section.

How we deal with your report

The reported problem will be given a priority rating based on the information you have provided. Find out how we prioritise our works (PDF).

Once we receive your report:

  1. We will assign it to an inspector who will verify the details you have given and, if they are able to identify the owner of the manhole cover, they will pass this to our Streetworks Team who will report directly to the Statutory Undertaker, a company who has the legal right to carry out highways works.
  2. If the cover belongs to Surrey County Council (SCC), we will repair the problem within either 5 or 28 days depending on priority.
  3. If our inspector is unable to identify the cover's owner from the surface, we will arrange for our response team to attend within either 5 to 28 days, depending on the priority rating of the report. They will lift the manhole cover to identify the owner.
    If it is an SCC owned cover, we will conduct a permanent repair.
    If it is utility owned, we will report the issue to company responsible and if it is causing immediate danger or noise, we will make a temporary repair (where possible). The owner of the cover is legally responsible for making the permanent repair.
  4. Due to legislation, we can take no further action and you should contact the utility company with any other enquiries, including chasing up the permanent repair.

Legislation regarding utility owned manhole covers

  • Legislation limits the action we can take to repair utility company owned equipment, e.g. manhole covers.
  • Our role is to investigate reports and notify the correct utility company as soon as possible, providing them with as much evidence as we can. If necessary, we can make a temporary repair (where possible) but the owner is responsible for permanent repairs.
  • Unless the equipment (manhole cover) is causing a clear danger to safety, utility companies do not have to repair it within a set timescale (for example noisy covers).
  • Legislation about utility company owned equipment (manhole covers) can be found on page 47, Section 81 of the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991.

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