As the local highways authority we are responsible for maintaining most public roads in South Gloucestershire. We do not maintain private (unadopted) roads.

A private road can be an existing road that has not been offered for adoption or a new road that has not yet been completed to the appropriate standard required by us for adoption.

Maintenance and safety issues are the responsibility of the developer or owner until a road has been adopted.

We keep an alphabetical record of the streets that are maintainable at public expense within South Gloucestershire. This is known as the list of streets.

You can also check which roads are maintained by us on the FindMyStreet website.

Our approach

With the roads we are responsible for we aim to:

  • keep the highway network in a safe, usable condition
  • maintain highway structures such as barriers, walls, bridges and drains
  • look after street lights, signs, bollards and benches
  • respond to emergencies to keep everyone safe and the road network moving

Annual maintenance schedule

We have an annual schedule of routine maintenance work:

  • road marking renewal work is planned for between April and September
  • each autumn we cut small channels across rural verges to help drain road surface water away
  • we prioritise cat’s-eye maintenance and repairs during the winter
  • safety barrier repairs and sign repairs or replacements are carried out throughout the year
  • roadside drains are checked and cleared out throughout the year, with areas subject to flooding prioritised during winter

As with any outdoor activity the schedule can be disrupted by bad weather.

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Road surface maintenance

We fix potholes, broken kerb stones, road edge failure and all other forms of surface wear, for example, a damaged speed bump.

Pothole repairs – criteria and timescales

We fix approximately 11,000 potholes every year.

We do not fix holes that are less than 50mm deep and 30mm wide – that is roughly shallower than a snooker ball.

We have a duty to inspect all those reported to us but unfortunately we cannot fix those that do not meet these criteria.

We will fix holes that meet our criteria within:

  • 24 hours if it is on a main or strategic road and in the direct line of travel
  • 2 weeks if on a main road and not in the direct line of travel
  • 12 weeks if it is on any other kind of road

Street lighting maintenance

We are responsible for maintaining, repairing and replacing the majority of the street lights, lit road signs and illuminated bollards in South Gloucestershire.

We do not maintain those on private roads such as:

  • within industrial estates
  • supermarket access roads
  • on very new housing developments

We also do not maintain those on roads that are the responsibility of National Highways (formerly Highways England), such as the M32, M4, M5 and A46.

What we do

We carry out routine inspection and maintenance, including electrical safety testing. We keep an up-to-date record of where the street lights, lit road signs and illuminated bollards are, what type or model they are and what parts they require.

Street lights and illuminated road signs are:

  • inspected every 2 years, to check whether the post is worn or damaged and needs replacing
  • cleaned at the same time, if needed, as dirt can build up and dull the light
  • fitted with new posts when old ones reach the end of their life

Illuminated bollards are also routinely inspected and cleaned every 2 years.

To help reduce energy consumption and maintenance costs we are in the process of upgrading our street lights to LED. You can find out more on our street lights and energy use page.

Structural maintenance

Across South Gloucestershire we are responsible for over 1,000 highway structures such as bridges, retaining walls, drainage culverts, cattle grids and pedestrian subways. These are routinely inspected and maintained by us to keep the road network safe and usable.

We aim to inspect each structure every 2 years to record its condition and check for signs of wear or damage. Defects are added to our prioritised work schedule.

We carry out repairs and maintenance work where needed and emergency repairs in response to reports of damage or deterioration.

Drainage maintenance

We are responsible for maintaining, repairing and replacing over 50,000 roadside drains (also called road gullies) across South Gloucestershire’s public highway network.

This includes a large network of highway drainage pipes below the ground, which connect the road gullies to public surface water sewers, ditches and rivers.

What we do

We aim to inspect and clean each road gully we are responsible for every 2 years.

We respond to reports of blocked gullies and road flooding, using CCTV equipment to look for any problems or defects.

These are then added to our prioritised work schedule, unless there is a flooding emergency, when we will respond immediately to carry out emergency maintenance and repairs.

Ditches, ponds and watercourses are usually the responsibility of adjacent landowners, known as riparian owners. You can find out more about this on our local flood risk management page.

Those we are responsible for, we routinely inspect throughout the year and clear any screens, grilles and pipes to prevent blockage and reduce flood risk.


Report it

Potholes, faulty street lights, blocked drains and more can be reported online via our Report It page.

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