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Report a roads and highways problem

Blocked drains


The Environmental Protection team will investigate any complaints relating to drainage and sewerage, finding out the nature of the problem and deciding who is responsible for any further action. The Drain Clearance team provides a service to unblock drains but you'll need to call out a private contractor to carry out any necessary repair work.

To report a blocked gully or standing water on the highway, please contact:

During normal office hours: 01642 726001

Emergencies out of hours: 01642 726050

Drainage systems


A private drain is a pipe which connects from one property to the public sewer and is the responsibility of the property owner. When this pipe extends beyond the boundary of your property, either into other privately-owned land or under the public highway, it is known as a lateral drain, which is the responsibility of the water authority.

Public sewers include all those pipes that take the waste from more than one property, and are the responsibility of the water authority.

For more information go to the Northumbrian Water Website.

Gullies and highway drainage


The council is responsible for approximately 25,000 road side gullies which are routinely mechanically cleaned once per year, however additional cleansing will be carried out if required. Gullies in known trouble spots are cleaned more often.

The council will attend to flooded/overflowing gullies upon receipt of an adverse flood warning from the Environment Agency and the Met Office, and sites will be addressed on a priority basis following this information.

To report a blocked gully or standing water on the highway, please contact:

During normal office hours: 01642 726001

Emergencies out of hours: 01642 726050

Highway emergencies


The council will respond to all incidents and emergencies on the highway, e.g. removal of debris from a road traffic accident, spillages, uprooted bollards, unsafe pavements and carriageways, and flooding, which require emergency attendance.

A highways maintenance team are available 24 hours a day/7 days week to attend to emergencies. We will attend all highway emergencies within 2 hours of a report.

To report a highway emergency, please contact:

During normal office hours: 01642 726001

Emergencies out of hours: 01642 726050

You can also report problems by using Report It.

Manhole covers


The council will attend to, and make safe, requests for repair or replacement of manhole covers within 2 hours of receiving notification.

To report any defects relating to a manhole cover, please contact:

During normal office hours: 01642 726001

Emergencies out of hours: 01642 726050

Please note, some manholes are the responsibility of public utility companies, therefore details maybe forwarded to the relevant company to undertake works where required. Residents can also report the defect direct to the relevant utility company.

Obstructions on the highway


The Highways Act 1980 clearly states that the highway authority must, as far as possible, prevent the stopping up or obstruction of the highway including the public footpath.

The highway authority also has the right if necessary to take legal proceedings against a person or persons who are known to be depositing such things that would cause an obstruction and possibly result in the injury of a third party.

To report any obstructions or hazards on public roads, footpaths or other public areas please contact the Environment Contact Centre on 01642 726001.

Common examples of obstructions include:

  • builders skips or materials e.g. piles of bricks, sand, concrete etc.
  • branches, bushes or hedges which overhang or block the highway
  • advertising boards which are unauthorised
  • road works safety barriers that have fallen over
  • scaffolding or hoardings
  • tables and chairs from pubs, cafes, or restaurants
  • illegally parked vehicles



Pavements, particularly those constructed of paving stones, can suffer very badly from vehicle trespass. In the case of damage it is important, if possible, to report the vehicle details/findings so that the council can recharge the full cost of repair.

Illegally parked vehicles cost the council thousands of pounds a year in damaged paving, damaged grass verges and cause a serious problem for blind, disabled and elderly people.

You can let us know about damage to a pavement using Report It.



A pothole is where the surface of the road or footpath has been eroded and a hollow has formed. The severity of the pothole, and therefore the criteria for attention, is determined by the risk it poses to highway users. This is difficult to judge since all potholes present some risk.

The factors to be taken into account include size, exact location (carriageway or footway), and depth of pothole. In addition, the type of traffic use, speed and volume, road alignment and visibility, and also position in relation to the road width are considered. Potholes on the highway are repaired in accordance with the highways safety inspection manual guidelines.

You can use Report It to let us know about a pothole or a problem with a road surface.

We can investigate your report more quickly if you upload a photograph of the pot hole, and give us as much information about the location as possible, for example the closest house number or street light column number.

Alternatively, you can contact the Environment Contact Centre on 01642 726001.

Works will be undertaken to repair the surface where required.

Street furniture


Street furniture includes items which stand on pavements and roads, including signs, bollards, benches, barriers, railings etc.

You can report a problem with an piece of street furniture, including items which have been damaged or stolen, or request an item of street furniture, using Report It.

Street light fault


You can report faults with street lights using Report It.

Faults may include:

  • lamppost has fallen over
  • light cover is hanging down
  • light doesn't come on
  • light is on all day
  • light is too bright or too dim
  • wires are exposed

You can also call 01642 726001, quoting the location and the column reference number.

We aim to carry out all repairs within 5 working days of your report. If the problem is a loss of power, which is the responsibility of Northern Powergrid, repairs will be done within 35 working days.

Street name plates


We're responsible for making sure that street name plates are sited in a suitable location, and maintained if damaged, for each road in Middlesbrough. In the case of new developments, the developer is responsible for the erection of a nameplate to our specification.

To report any problems with street name plates please contact the Environment Contact Centre on 01642 726001.

Traffic light fault


Middlesbrough Council is responsible for installing and maintaining traffic signals and signal-controlled pedestrian crossings across the five boroughs in the Tees Valley (Middlesbrough, Stockton, Darlington, Hartlepool, and Redcar & Cleveland).

If you notice a fault or problem with traffic lights in any of these areas, please report it directly to us. We aim to respond efficiently and quickly to all reports of traffic signal faults.


Monday to Friday (8am to 4pm): 01642 728 170

Out of hours or emergency: 01642 727 111

Alternatively, you can let us know about a broken traffic light by completing the online form.

Winter maintenance


You can make winter maintenance requests via Report It:

  • report a stolen or damaged salt bin
  • request a new salt bin
  • request an empty salt bin to be refilled