Laura Sharman 03 August 2016

Association calls for official definition of a pothole

A national statutory definition of what comprises a pothole would stop councils from ‘moving the goal posts’ to save money, according to an industry body.

The Road Surface Treatments Association (RSTA) has issued the warning after a Scottish council redefined its classification of a pothole in a bid to save money by not repairing smaller holes.

Earlier this year, Perth and Kinross Council said potholes must be 60mm deep – an increase of 50 percent from its previous 40mm classification – before they are repaired and filled.

Howard Robinson, chief executive of the RSTA, said: ‘The lack of a national pothole definition means that we have a postcode lottery of road repair as different local authorities take different approaches. There is no consistency.

‘Under the Road Traffic Act 1980 all local highway authorities have a duty of care to maintain their road network but there is no national definition or agreement as to when a pothole is a pothole.’

The association also highlighted the fact a pothole is 4cm deep and 30cm wide in Gloucestershire, but 40mm deep and 20cm wide in neighbouring Worcestershire.

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