Road and pavement hazards

Any hazard on the road or pavement - caused by damage or vandalism - that could result in injury to pedestrians or road users, or potentially cause damage to property, may be considered a risk to the public.

The following types of damage are considered to be hazardous:

  • gully or drain cover missing
  • wall exposing a large drop to the rear on either the pavement or road
  • pedestrian guard railing protruding into the pavement or road
  • fencing protruding into the pavement or road
  • concrete bollard knocked over onto the pavement or road
  • inspection cover missing or damaged
  • bridge parapets damaged
  • oil spillages on the road
  • lamp columns knocked down, wires exposed or lanterns hanging loose
  • road traffic bollards knocked down or broken
  • sign poles knocked down or sign plates hanging loose
  • traffic signals lights not working or traffic light head broken or hanging loose  

Reporting a hazard

You can report damage to public roads by either calling us, using the contact details below, or by completing the online form below.

The report will then be classed as either an emergency or routine work based on the type of damage.

We require as much of the following information as possible to respond to your query:

  • street name and area
  • location on street, for example, is it near a house number or road junction?
  • description and detail of the damage
  • your name and a contact number
  • date and approximate time of damage
  • persons or vehicle registration responsible for damage (if known)
  • if  the police were in attendance

What happens once you have reported a hazard?

For emergency work we aim to make a hazard safe within two hours. The damage is then assessed by an engineer and an order issued for repairs to be carried out within 28 days or planned work within six months, depending on the extent and location of the damage.

When a report of a hazard or damage is received, the person taking the report will attempt to identify ownership and establish who is responsible for the property or street furniture from the details provided.

If the damage is clearly not the responsibility of the council, then ownership details can be established and we will contact the respective statutory undertaker or owner responsible. A request will be made that they attend and make the hazard safe within a set timescale. If they are unable to meet this timescale then the council will make the hazard safe and then recover the costs.

If the responsibility cannot be established and the damage or hazard needs to be made safe, the council may carry out the work within two hours and attempt to recover the costs from the property owner.

The following are some examples of street furniture and property that is not the responsibility of the council:

  • inspection covers in the pavement or road for example; stop taps, fire hydrants, manholes and valve boxes
  • walls built for non-highway purposes
  • cellar covers
  • statutory undertakers or cable cabinets

How to contact us

To report an obstruction or problem, please contact.

Public Realm
Mulberry Place (AH)
PO Box 55739
5 Clove Crescent
London E14 1BY

Tel: 020 7364 5004
Fax: 020 7364 3121
Email: generalenquiries@towerhamlets.gov.uk

Alternatively, you may submit an online form to report an obstruction or similar problem.

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