Here you will find information about how the council deals with potholes and roads maintenance.
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Potholes are defects in the highway surface, which are surrounded by surfacing material on all sides. They can develop suddenly, and our response depends on the size, depth and location of the pothole, and the risk it presents to the public.
The A1, A19 and A69 are the responsibility of National Highways, not the council. Report potholes on these roads by contacting the National Highways help centre or emailing email@example.com
We look after the rest of Northumberland’s highways – otherwise known as the roads, pavements and grass verges. Use the online form if you spot a damaged surface on one of our roads.
report a pothole or road maintenance problem here
If we find damage on one of our roads that is considered a serious risk to road users, we will repair the defect within 24 hours. Other potholes, which aren’t a serious risk, will be repaired within 14 or 28 days.
We regularly inspect and maintain all our roads, pavements and grass verges to make sure they’re safe and accessible. Reports from the public are also vital in maintaining our roads effectively, because damage and potholes can appear at any time.
report a road or pavement obstruction
If a pavement or road is blocked, let us know. There are lots of ways routes can be obstructed - a skip or an advertising board, overhanging tree branches, mud or debris on the road, or even poorly placed temporary roadworks.
You can also use this form to report if pedestrians are at risk because roadworks aren’t fenced off. We will work with the people responsible to remove the obstacle. In serious cases, which endanger the public or break the law, legal action can be taken if the obstruction continues.
If a vehicle is causing the obstruction - contact the police. We have no power to enforce the law on illegally parked vehicles unless there is a line or a sign that prohibits parking.
report a broken or dangerous pavement
We regularly inspect pavements and carry out reactive and planned repairs. We also respond to reports from the public and repair this damage as quickly as possible.
report flooding on the road or a blocked gully here
A road gully is a large pot covered by a metal grid and is usually found at the edge of a road. It’s used to drain water off the paved surface into a piped system or roadside ditch. Blocked gullies are one of the reasons why water on the highway may not drain away.
Gullies in public areas are maintained by the council and are cleaned regularly. Gullies on private land must be looked after by landowners.
Northumbrian Water now looks after all drains and sewers in Northumberland connected to the public sewerage system. You are responsible for the section of pipe that’s within the boundaries of your property and which serves your property only.
If a section of pipe that is shared or is outside your property’s boundary gets blocked, contact Northumbrian Water. They can also investigate if you’re not sure where the blockage is.
Will the council clear or repair drains?
Northumberland County Council is not responsible for clearing drains on private or commercial premises. You can contact a private drainage company who will come and clear the blockage. Many companies advertise in the Yellow Pages.
You should always confirm their charges and agree exactly what they will do before authorising them to do the work. If you’re a council tenant, contact your housing agency.
One of the pipes that supplies my house is blocked, but the blockage is in my neighbour’s property. What can I do?
Why does my council tax not cover the maintenance of my drains?
We don’t own any drains or sewers, except those serving our own premises. We are responsible for highway drainage, but this is separate from buildings.
The council is responsible for keeping public rights of way safe, accessible and clearly marked. We look after all Northumberland’s highways – the roads, footpaths and verges.
Our officers monitor the highways to make sure they are properly maintained and work with countryside landowners to make sure rural footpaths, stiles, etc. are safe and accessible. We also co-ordinate roadworks on our highways, making sure they cause as little disruption as possible.
If we find routes are obstructed or unsafe, we’ll work with the people responsible to resolve the situation. In most cases this is all that’s needed, but we can take formal legal action if issues persist.
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