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Luton Borough Council


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Preventing potholes in Luton

Please note: We aim to inspect all reports of potholes within two working days.

We have a team of highway inspectors, a seek and repair gang, and a 24 hour response team to find and repair potholes in Luton.

We will generally repair potholes that are 50mm + or deeper in residential roads and 30mm or more on the main roads.

Any potholes that are more than 50mm deep on main roads will be repaired within twenty four hours of inspection by our team and aim to inspect all reports of potholes within two working days.

We are also investing into an annual surface treatment and surfacing programme.
The surfacing programme is designed to tackle the backlog of the some of the worst road surfaces in Luton, providing a brand new road surface and to as treat roads showing the first signs of deterioration.

This programme will:

  • get rid of potholes by repairing roads that are showing early signs, such as cracking, and deformation
  • prevent potholes by using treatments that seal roads against the elements of weather before they start to show significant signs of wear and tear

Luton’s main roads are in a fairly good condition. However 11% of Luton’s residential roads are deemed as needing resurfacing. In the five year programme we will undertake to include all our main roads, any other roads that need resurfacing will be assessed according to its condition, and its locality, roads with schools and bus routes may be considered a higher priority.

Luton is committed to providing more resources for carriageway maintenance, below is a link to our investment in roads programme that is being delivered this year.

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Q&A January 2023: Potholes

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January is usually the time of year when we see an increase in potholes on our roads. This year the problem has been particularly bad not just in Luton but throughout the whole country, with a large number of potholes appearing in a short period of time.

The reason for the increase compared to last year, despite more investment, is the weather. We have experienced weeks of persistent and heavy rain since the autumn followed by an early cold snap, and snow fall was followed by weeklong freezing conditions. We have also experienced bitterly cold temperatures in the day and a night-time.

Water is the number one enemy of a road surface, it can quickly get into a minor crack in the road and wash away what is called the sub base. When it freezes and expands, and then thaws and contracts it blows the road surface wide open.

The council invested an additional £2 million last year on top of the £2.7 million normally allocated to Luton road resurfacing and treatment programme. This means we have been able to improve the condition of some our road network in the last year, but this additional investment needs to be sustained over a number of years to remedy the backlog of roads that need resurfacing.

The good news is that we have provided similar investment this year.

We are in the process of putting together our resurfacing and surface treatment programme for 2023, the bulk of which will be carried out in the summer. However, we are planning a limited programme for March.

The key to a successful maintenance strategy is to try and intervene before the road surface deteriorates to the point where it needs resurfacing.

There needs to be dedicated resources for more cost effective surface treatments earlier on in the lifecycle of the road to extend the life of the road, preventing potholes occurring in the first place. We have used these surface dressing treatments and micro asphalt for a number of years now, and are increasing the ratio of these treatments compared to expensive resurfacing.

However, when first laid there is loose material and some people think they are a cheap solution when compared to a newly surfaced road even though they are actually a highly cost effective way of preventing potholes.

Over the last few years we have tried to move away from putting blobs of tarmac in the pothole to make them safe. We generally try and employ a first time fix approach with patching, and resurfacing.

Because there has been years of underinvestment in the country’s roads a backlog of maintenance has been created, and we have a challenge in Luton with over 10% of residential roads requiring resurfacing today.

All roads deteriorate over time, in fact typically a new road surface will require resurfacing in 10-15 year’s time. So whilst we try to tackle the backlog, other road surfaces deteriorate to the point that they need resurfacing.

You can report it at Our highways maintenance team will visit the reported potholes within two working days. They will triage them and organise a repair. If the pothole is dangerous they will attend within 2 hours. We will repair all potholes that are in excess of +30mm in depth on the main road network and +50mm on the residential roads.

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Repairing Luton's potholes video

Watch our Repairing Luton's potholes video below or click here if it is not playing on your device.

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Report a pothole

We aim to inspect all reports of potholes within two working days, but if you feel the pothole is dangerous enough to need immediate attention contact us to let us now.

Online: Tell us about a pothole online . Reporting online allows:
  • you to upload a photo of the pothole
  • us to decide if an emergency repair is needed, based on the photo you attach
  • you to give the precise location of the pothole
  • you to track the progress of your report online
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 01582 510333

Contact times

Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm
01582 510333
[email protected] 

Out of hours
Weekdays - 5pm to 9am
Weekends - 5pm Friday to 9am Monday
0300 7900346
Please note: additional call charge per minute plus your phone company’s access charge.

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© 2024 Luton Council, Town Hall, Luton LU1 2BQ