Potholes and broken pavements

What is a Pothole?

When the surface of a road ages, it becomes more porous, which allows rainwater to soak in more easily through cracks and other flaws.

In wet conditions, the pressure produced by car tyres passing over the area forces more water down into the road surface, which weakens it even further. When the weather is cold and wet, water that has entered into the ground freezes and expands, loosening chunks of the surface material of and causing faster deterioration of the road. Once a pothole has formed, it will get bigger the more traffic passes over it, as cars driving over the potholes will continue to weaken and dislodge broken pieces of the road surface.

When the surface of a road has weakened over a larger area, potholes are more likely to reoccur. In most of these cases, the entire road surface will need to be repaired or completely replaced under our Highway road surfacing programme.  

Report a pothole

Winter road resilience programme

Between the months of December to March, we experience a seasonal increase in the number of potholes being reported. 

So far we have:

  • Targeted Patching Programme - fixed 288 sections of roads that need repairs (as of 15 March 2019)
  • Reactive Maintenance - repaired 304 potholes (as of 15 March 2019)

We have a number of work programmes to address potholes and other road defects including:

Major patching repair programme

We completed patching repairs to large sections of Wembley High Road and Kilburn High Road in December 2018. 

Targeted Patching Programme - ongoing

From November we have targeted main roads which had been identified as ‘at risk’ to rapid deterioration from freeze and thaw conditions. This work covers a wider area that a single pothole repair and can address multiple defects through a large patch repair. The work will continue throughout the winter.

View a list of the completed and outstanding work (Please note, the repair dates are shown by month as progress and is dependent on issues encountered whilst executing the repairs, i.e. obstructions, weather conditions etc.)

Find and fix pothole programme 

We have allocated funding to enable us to react and respond to serious road defects rapidly appearing during freeze and thaw conditions, with priority given to roads with a high number of potholes forming. Our teams will start at one end of the road and working their way along the road will repair all potholes encountered, regardless of size. We will monitor weather conditions closely from now until Spring and react to situations arising to ensure our roads remain safe and accessible.

Reactive pothole maintenance programme  

This programme continues with potholes identified through customer reports and scheduled road safety inspections. Since the start of November 304 potholes have been repaired through this programme with a further 115 ordered. Report a pothole on our website, the Cleaner Brent App or by emailing highways&infrastructure@brent.gov.uk 

View list of potholes repaired, scheduled and completed since November 2018

Injection Patching  - Springtime onwards

From the springtime onwards we will be using a new process calledInjection patching’ It speeds up the time it takes to repair a pothole from 10 to 15 minutes to around two minutes. In summer 2018 the programme ran on 18 June and was finished on Friday 10 August, an eight week programme.  A large number of defects (2759) were fixed across the borough in a short space of time, an average of nearly 50 a day. Following the successful pilots we will be engaging a specialist contractor to carry out an extensive, borough-wide, injection patching programme from May 2019 working continuously in the borough until the end of the year.