Carriageway defects

As the highway authority in Poole, we have the responsibility for the maintenance of the highway which includes the road (carriageway), the pavement (footway), verges and public rights of way.


A pothole is where the surface of the highway has been eroded and a hollow has formed. We, as highway authority, have responsibility for the maintenance of the highway and will undertake a suitably timed repair.

The severity of the pothole and, therefore, the criteria for attention is determined by the risk it poses to highway users. The factors to be taken into account include size and depth of pothole; traffic type, speed and volume; road alignment and visibility and also the position in relation to road width.

Carriageway inspections

Inspectors carry out inspections every 1 to 12 months, dependent on the importance of the highway, and works orders are placed for any necessary repairs. These are within appropriate timescales dependent on severity of defect and likely risk to other users.

Problems can arise between inspections and we welcome reports from the public. Please try to give an accurate location for the pothole, for example, the name of the street and adjacent house, if possible.

Report a carriageway defect

If you wish to report a defect on the carriageway please use our online form. It will help us if you can use the map on the form. If you'd prefer not to use the map please provide as much detail as possible such as:

  • street name and adjacent property number
  • type of defect and extent of damage
  • if vandalism or road traffic collision, car registration details, police incident number and date witnessed
  • your name and contact number

If you do need to call us, please call 01202 265255.

In the case of an emergency out of office hours, please call 0800 506050.

Page last updated: 25 February 2021
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