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For the roads we are responsible for, we carry out regular safety inspections to find and repair serious problems. We also rely on members of the public to report issues to us. 

You can report a new highways problem fast or see updates on existing problems using our online reporting system

The information below details how significant a problem needs to be for us to action a repair and when the repair will happen for potholes, manhole and drainage covers, flooding, drainage, traffic signals, road markings and vegetation/tree problems. This is often dependent on the road type.  

It is not possible for works to be carried out everywhere at the same time. Our road hierarchy is based on the importance, location and actual usage of each road, not it's classification as an A, B, C or Unclassified road. We give greater priority to the roads that have the most traffic and where there is a greater chance of a defect causing a problem. 

Road typeRoad summary Description
Motorway Limited access and motorway regulations apply Routes for fast moving long distance traffic. Traffic is separated and restrictions on use are in place.
Strategic Route Trunk Roads and some Principal ‘A’ roads between primary urban areas

Routes for fast moving long distance traffic with little frontage access or pedestrian traffic. Speed limits are usually in excess of 40 mph and there are few junctions. Pedestrian crossings are either segregated or controlled and parked vehicles are generally prohibited.

Main Distributor Major urban network roads for short and medium distance traffic Routes linking Strategic Routes with urban centres. Limited frontage access. In urban areas, speed limits are usually 40 mph or less, parking is restricted at peak times and there are measures for pedestrians.
Secondary Distributor Includes B and C class roads and unclassified urban bus routes. Carries local traffic with frontage access and frequent junctions. In rural areas these roads link the larger villages and Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) to the Strategic and Main Distributor roads. In built up areas, these roads have 30 mph speed limits and very high levels of pedestrian activity with some crossing facilities including zebra crossings. On-street parking is generally unrestricted except for safety reasons.
Link Road Roads linking between the Main and Secondary Distributor roads. Features a lot of frontage access and frequent junctions. In rural areas, these roads link the smaller villages to the distributor roads. They are of varying width and not always capable of carrying two way traffic. In urban areas they are residential or industrial inter-connecting roads with 30 mph speed limits, random pedestrian movements and uncontrolled parking.
Local Access Road Roads serving limited numbers of properties carrying only access traffic. In rural areas these roads serve small settlements and provide access to individual properties and land. They are often only single lane width and unsuitable for HGVs in urban areas. They are often residential loop roads or cul-de-sacs.
Minor Roads Little used roads serving 5 properties or less. Locally defined roads serving few properties with low volumes of traffic
Soft Roads (Green Lanes) Unmade unclassified Exclusively in rural areas carrying mainly agricultural vehicles and pedestrians

Potholes

A pothole is a hole in the road that is deeper than 40mm and wider than 75mm in any horizontal direction. They are usually formed during the winter months as a direct result of snow, ice and prolonged periods of rain.

When will a pothole be fixed?

When a pothole is reported to us, we will first inspect to risk assess it. At inspection, we will mark the pothole with paint. Yellow paint indicates it will be fixed within 21 days. White paint indicates it will be fixed within 12 weeks.

We will prioritise repairing potholes that we deem to be a danger to the public. This could be due to the pothole's position on the road or the possibility that it may create a hazard. If the pothole is large but not deemed to be a significant risk to the public, we will action a repair at a later date

When we repair a pothole, sometimes we will first make it safe with a temporary fix so we can permanently repair it as part of our other programmed works. Smaller potholes which are not yet sufficient to merit repair action will be monitored as part of our routine inspections.

Categories of potholes and our response times

For potholes on Strategic and Main Distributor road types:

Pothole descriptionResponse time
Greater than 40mm in depth and a significant risk to public safety 5 days
Greater than 40mm in depth but less of a risk to public safety 21 days
20mm to 40mm in depth 12 weeks

For potholes on Secondary Distributor road type:

Pothole descriptionResponse time
Greater than 50mm in depth and a significant risk to public safety 5 days
Greater than 50mm in depth but less of a risk to public safety 21 days
40mm to 50mm in depth 12 weeks

For potholes on Link and Local Access road types:

Pothole descriptionResponse time
Greater than 50mm in depth and a significant risk to public safety 5 days
Greater than 50mm in depth but less of a risk to public safety 21 days
Less than 50mm in depth Not yet large enough for repair
For Minor road types:
 
Pothole descriptionResponse time
Greater than 80mm in depth and a significant risk to public safety 5 days
Greater than 80mm in depth but less of a risk to public safety 21 days
Less than 80mm in depth Not yet large enough for repair

For potholes on cycleways:

Location of cyclewayPothole typeResponse time
On Strategic, Main Distributor and Secondary Distributor road types Greater than 40mm in depth and a significant risk to public safety

36 hours

Greater than 40mm in depth but less of a risk to public safety 21 days
20mm to 40mm in depth 12 weeks
All other cycleways Greater than 40 mm in depth and a significant risk to public safety 5 days
Greater than 40 mm in depth but less of a risk to public safety 21 days
20mm to 40mm in depth Not yet large enough for repair

For potholes on footpaths:

 Pothole typeResponse time
Greater than 25mm in depth and a risk to public safety 36 hours
Greater than 25mm in depth but less of a risk to public safety 21 days
20mm to 25mm in depth 12 weeks
 

Manhole covers and drain covers

For ironworks on all road carriageways:

Problem typeResponse time
Missing covers or large gaps in framework 2 hours
Greater than 40mm level difference with frame 36 hours
Greater than 20mm level difference with frame Not yet large enough for repair

For ironworks on footways and cycleways:

Problem typeResponse time
Greater than 20mm level difference with frame 2 hours 

Flooding

We will attend a site if there is standing water after heavy rainfall that inhibits the free flow of traffic. If this is on a  Strategic, Main Distributor or Secondary Distributor road types, we will respond within two hours if the flooding is causing network restrictions or safety concerns. In this instance, you can expect warning signs or other mitigation. If this happens on a Link or Local Access road types, we will investigate the cause of flooding within 28 days.

Drainage

Blocked gullies (silted above outlet) leading to network restrictions or safety concerns will be investigated within two hours if it's causing a network or safety concern.

In areas at risk of flooding, gullies are cleaned once a year or more often if required. Other forms of drainage are checked, cleaned or repaired when required, or when a problem is reported to us.

Sometimes a gully may appear to be blocked but the problem could be with the drain into which the gully is connected.

Traffic Signalled Junctions and Crossings

Traffic signals are used to manage traffic flow or improve the safety of vehicles and/or pedestrians.  These are either at junctions or at standalone pedestrian crossings.  If the signals go out or have another fault, we will attend to fix them within the times below. Response times are dependent on the severity of the issue, not on the classification or type of the road.

Problem typeResponse and repair time
Signals off, road traffic accident, signals stuck or red lamp out 2 hours to attend site, make safe within 4 hours
Any lamp other than a red lamp out Within 1 day
All other faults (including vehicle detectors) Within 3 days.

Road Markings

Road markings are used to define roads, bus and cycle lanes, and traffic calming schemes. They also help enforce parking or loading areas and reduce damage to the side of roads.

Any faded or worn road markings on the highways which we are responsible for will be responded to within the below response times (depending on their severity and road category).

Road Markings
Road typeCategory 1Response TimeCategory 2Response Time
Strategic Missing Give Way or Stop Lines 5 days All other road markings - 30% loss of effective marking 12 weeks
Main Distributor and Secondary Distributor Missing Give Way or Stop Lines 5 days All other road markings - 50% loss of effective marking 12 weeks
All other roads Missing Give Way, Stop Lines 5 days All other road markings - 70% loss of effective marking 12 weeks
Footways and Cycleways Missing Give Way, Stop Lines 5 days All other road markings - 70% loss of effective marking 12 weeks

Grass, Hedges, Trees and Weeds

During the summer months, we have an annual grass cutting programme for grass verges along Cambridgeshire roads. Our grass cutting programme takes place between May and October.

Grass cutting across Cambridgeshire is carried out by one of the County Council's subcontractors. Agreements are also in place with some parish councils who carry out the grass cutting in their villages on our behalf. To find out more about when grass will be cut in your area and who carries out the grass cutting, see our grass cutting webpage

If you notice an area where grass, hedges or trees are causing a safety issue, you can report it to us via our online reporting tool.

The majority of grass verges next to public roads and footpaths are the responsibility of the County Council. If the land is privately owned or has not yet been adopted by the Council, the Council will not cut the grass. This principle is the same for hedges and trees. If we get a report about overgrown or overhanging vegetation on privately owned land and we consider it to be a problem, we will contact the landowner responsible and ask them to arrange for their hedges/tress/grass to be cut.

We will deal with any overhanging or overgrown trees or hedges on the highway provided they are above our intervention levels detailed in the table below.

Hedges and Trees
Road typeProblemResponse Time
All Unstable tree causing danger of collapse onto highway 2 hours
Verges
Road typeProblemResponse Time
All Greater than 150mm deep and over 5m long 14 days

For further detail on our Reactive Maintenance Intervention Levels, please refer to our asset management page

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