Road repairs and maintenance

The council is responsible for:

  • inspecting roads to identify what repairs are needed
  • repairing potholes and resurfacing roads and road markings
  • repairing and repaving of pavements
  • monitoring and co-ordinating gas, electricity, water and telecommunication company works
  • design and supervision of major road strengthening schemes
  • monitoring and supervision of developments where they impact on the road
  • maintaining street furniture, such as signs, bollards, guard railings, street seats and name plates
  • maintaining roadside grass verges
  • dealing with road-related emergencies such as road collapses, floods, heavy snow and fallen trees
  • installing facilities for people with disabilities

Monitoring and repairing

Every road in Wirral is inspected each year to identify which roads and pavements need most maintenance, based on structural need and priority. We also respond to public reports and any accident risk or occurrence.

Busy town centres are inspected once a month, but quiet cul-de-sacs only once a year.

View all roadworks on a map

Broken paving stones, potholes or other defects

Wirral has 737 miles of roads, much of which is bordered by pavements. We cannot afford to fix every defect so we need to prioritise repairs by the level of damage and the amount of traffic on that particular route.

If you’re wondering why some repairs haven’t been made to a road or pavement, it’s because we may have assessed the damage and decided that is a low priority compared to busier areas.

Find out more about how we deal with potholes and road defects

Report a problem with a road or pavement

Report a problem with a road or pavement


The M53 in Wirral is the responsibility of Highways England. The routes are maintained by Balfour Beatty Mott McDonald (BBMM).

How were roads chosen for the annual maintenance programme?

Roads to be repaired during our annual maintenance programme are selected following independent condition surveys in addition to reports from highways inspectors, councillors and members of the public.

This annual programme aims to use a carefully considered prioritisation process to select the roads that are in the greatest need of repair within the limited funding available.

Most of the roads are selected from data received some months before the programme was published and there will unfortunately always be some roads that have deteriorated more than expected. You can help make us aware of these, by reporting them on our website.

Why isn't more money invested in the annual maintenance programme so more roads can be resurfaced?

Wirral Council is responsible for approximately 737 miles of road and it is estimated that repairing all our roads would cost in excess of £120 million.

The council aims to make our highway system efficient and sustainable so that our residents can safely travel around the borough. The roads and treatments are carefully considered and chosen based on their impact on the community and the roads in the greatest need of repair within the funding available.

Why are these roads being resurfaced in the summer?

Our road maintenance programme is an annual programme and this year, just as every year, we aim to treat and repair our roads to maintain an efficient, safe and sustainable network of roads for Wirral residents.

The repairs are scheduled to start in summer as this is often the most efficient time of year for these works due to the likelihood of improved weather conditions.

The weather conditions play an important factor in how long the repair will take as the material and treatments need to dry before traffic can return to the road.

What treatments will the roads in the annual programme receive?

The resurfacing or reconstruction materials used in this programme are Hot Rolled Asphalt (HRA) and Dense Bitumen Macadam (DBM).

HRA is the most durable surface and can last up to 20 years. It is our choice of material for main and commercial routes with heavy traffic. DBM is used for less busy roads, and depending on location, can last up to 16 years.

Surfacing treatments that we use include Surface Dressing, (which we now use with a Lock Chip treatment) and Micro Asphalt.

Surface Dressing is the most widely used material to extend the life of a road and lasts up to 20 years. Lock Chip is an overspray used with Surface Dressing to reduce chipping loss. Micro Asphalt is mostly used on local roads. It is laid over the existing surface to restore some profile and extend the surface life, and usually lasts for 10 plus years depending on road use.

Are different treatments and materials used for different roads? 

Yes, the treatments and materials used for repairing the road within this programme have different properties and processes, and are chosen for each road based on multiple criteria, including:

  • the existing road condition (for example, crack, pothole or full road surface)
  • the location and position of the road
  • the material or treatment that can provide the greatest sustainability to the current road

Why are some roads being completely resurfaced and others only receiving patch repairs?

The issues with the current road surface will, along with other factors, determine what materials and treatments will be used on the road.

If the current road surface has potholes and small cracks, then patching repairs are the most efficient way of repairing them however, certain roads may need the road surface to be completely restored and require resurfacing.

Patch repairs are often in preparation for full surface treatments within the next few years.

All works are chosen based on efficiency, sustainability and the material or treatment that will maintain our high-quality road network.

If a road is being resurfaced, can people park outside their house?

The roads selected to be resurfaced in this programme will receive repair and maintenance work over the next few months. We ask you to please move your car whilst this work is being carried out so that the work can be completed as efficiently as possible.

Before work takes place, the council’s highways team and contractors will be posting leaflets to houses that will be affected, and signs will be positioned around the area to inform of the works. This will allow you time to make alternative parking arrangements for your vehicles.

A road says it was due to receive works this week but no works have started?

Works are scheduled in a programme so that our contractors can get round all of the roads that need to be completed.

The weather and other external conditions outside of our control can significantly impact road surface works. If works need to be rescheduled, this can sometimes mean a delay so that the process can be completed at a more suitable time.

Signs and diversion routes will remain in place until any works are completed.

Why does it looked like the drain is blocked now that the road has received works?

Before works are completed all iron works including gullies for drainage systems are masked and taped over to prevent road materials going into the drains. To reduce the impact on drivers, roads are reopened to traffic as soon as possible after works to the surface are ok to drive on.

Works to the surface of the road are just one stage of the process, after a road is reopened to traffic, our contractors will later return to remove the masking and taping from the ironworks and ensure they are all ok.

There are loose chippings on the road, is this the finished road?

One of the ways to restore a road surface is a treatment called Surface Dressing. This process involves laying a sticky layer, a layer of chippings, another sticky layer and a further layer of chippings. The last layer of chippings is rolled in by machine, but the surface is helped by traffic travelling over it at slow speeds to further help push the chippings down and solidify the surface. Following this, the road will be swept.

Another treatment called Lock Chip is now used on Surface Dressing treatments to help lock down the chippings, reducing chipping loss after they have been pushed into the surface.

Once the road has been resurfaced, how long before the lines are painted back on?

The length of time between completing surface works to a road and the lines being repainted onto the road can vary – depending on the surface type used and the programme of works.

Weather dependant, line marking will be usually be completed within a few weeks of the first road surface works.

Signs informing traffic of the lack of line marking or cat’s eyes will remain in place until they are completed.

Why has flagged paving been replaced with tarmac?

Tarmac (or bitmac) is normally used where there are tree roots or where people need to drive over the path as they can cause damage to paving slabs. Tarmac is more flexible helping to keep the path smoother and safe for those walking on the path.