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Fixing the problem of potholes in Ealing and what the council is doing

Across the country and in Ealing, potholes have been making the news. Dangerous to divers, cyclists and anyone using the road, the government has recently said it will hold road contractors and repairers to account as well as providing an extra £200m across the country to help fix roads. But many say this is not enough and a long term strategy needs to be in place. 

Two weeks ago, the Asphalt Industry Alliance, revealed that the total number of potholes filled in England and Wales has decreased by 16 per cent from 1.7million reported for the last two years to 1.4million in England and Wales and is the lowest amount in the last 10 years.

In its report, the Asphalt Industry Alliance said: “To really improve conditions and create a safe, resilient and sustainable network, what’s needed is a longer-term funding horizon from central government with more highway budget ring-fencing. This would help local authority engineers to plan effectively and be able to implement more efficient works to protect and enhance the resilience of the local road network.”

Councils including Ealing have also said the Government needs to do more and “must provide local authorities with the resources that they need to enable proactive management of highways”.

An Ealing Council spokesperson explained how it manages potholes: “Ealing Council carries our highways safety inspections, in compliance with the highways code of best practice. These inspections are carried out by six inspectors, who walk the entire road network in the borough, and the whole process takes 12 weeks.

“The most recent inspection indicates that the number of potholes in the local road network has doubled compared to the state of the network last Autumn. This is due to the weather over the winter, with low temperatures leaving Ealing’s roads exposed to damage from water continually freezing and thawing. Water in small cracks in the road freezes and expands into ice, causing the cracks to widen and break up, creating deeper-than-usual potholes.

“The council does what it can to keep the road network in good condition, as we want to prevent risks to vulnerable highway users and encourage more walking and cycling in the borough. We aim to make dangerous potholes safe within 24 hours, and permanently repair them within 7 days.

“There is significant cost associated with maintaining the road network, and Government must provide local authorities with the resources that they need to enable proactive management of highways and to prevent safety incidents.”

We also asked Ealing Council how many potholes have been reported in recent years and how much it costs to fix them.

In 2020, there were 3346 repairs costing £419,300, in 2021 it went up to 4524 repairs and cost £471,078 and in 2022 it was 2530 costing £294,649.  An Ealing Council spokesperson said: “The reason for the reduction in 2022 is due to potholes now being picked up based on risk based assessments as well as intervention depth increased to 40mm.”

The spokesperson said residents can report potholes and other road defects directly to the council: “Residents can report potholes along with any trips and hazards via apps such as ‘lovecleanstreet’, via the Ealing Council website or by email to

Neil Reynolds, chair of Ealing Green Party told EALING.NEWS: “Better funding from central government would help, but the council’s informal policy of doing nothing about traffic on residential road in West Ealing and Hanwell is making the situation worse. Improving maintenance is also about reducing traffic on roads that are overused.”

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