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Maintaining roads

Trip hazards and manhole covers

Trip hazards

A 20p piece with extra information showing that it is about 20mm high

Not all trip hazards that are reported to us meet the criteria required to instigate repair.  We will not ignore any reports, however, we do have to prioritise our funding on safety and we cannot afford to fix all of the problems that are reported to us.

We will only repair trip hazards on a footway or cycleway where there is a vertical deviation of more than 20mm from the adjacent surrounding area.

Trip hazards include:

  • uneven or broken flags, blocks or paving stones
  • dislodged or damaged kerbs, channels or edgings
  • damaged steps.

We will:

  • take action on safety defects when there is a vertical deviation of more than 20mm from the adjacent surrounding area
  • record the problem
  • carry out a permanent repair within seven days.

Report a trip hazard


Broken manhole covers

A missing, broken or slippery cover within the highway is a safety defect. A rocking cover is a safety defect if the rocking is greater than 40mm on a road and 20mm on a pavement or cycleway.

We will record the defect and put signs and cones around it. Then:

  • if the cover is our responsibility, we will repair, replace or adjust it within seven days
  • if the cover is the responsibility of a statutory undertaker – usually a utility company – we will issue them with a defective ironwork notice. It is then their responsibility to ensure that all repairs are made

When reporting a broken manhole cover, if you can, tell us:

  • where the cover is – is it outside a business, property or notable feature?
  • where on the carriageway is the cover – is it on the road, pavement or verge?
  • what is wrong with the cover – is it missing, broken or slippery?
  • what shape is the cover – is it square, rectangle, triangle, circle?
  • is there any information on the cover which says who owns it – does it say water or sewer?

Report a broken manhole cover


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