Thurrock Council, as highway authority, is responsible for some 576 kilometers of roads and associated footways, gullies, safety barriers, pedestrian guardrails, traffic signs, street nameplates, road markings and road studs.
The Highway Maintenance Team also co-ordinate the work of utility companies and administers the construction of vehicular crossings.
Weather conditions are continually monitored during the winter months and when necessary, gritting is undertaken on just under 300 kilometers of the network.
The Council has a responsibility for the maintenance and repair of most roads in Thurrock including footways, but we are not responsible for;
Any issues concerning the following roads should be directed to the Highways Agency - Highways Agency
All roads and footways are routinely inspected at set frequencies dependant on the importance and usage of the route. There are 3 levels of priority for the repair of defects, ranging between 72 hours and 3 months depending upon the nature and severity of the defect. In addition to the routine inspections programme, road condition assessments are carried out annually to prioritise the major highway maintenance schemes.
During the winter months, it is usual for more damage to occur to the surface of roads than at any other time of the year. However, in the past year which has been the wettest on record, significant damage was also done to the highway network through the summer months due to heavy and prolonged periods of rainfall.
Whilst serious defects have been repaired, the rainfall caused minor cracking of the surface to many of the roads in the borough. As a result, where water has been able to penetrate the road surface, the lower temperatures experienced during the winter months can lead to the formation of ice which then expands and creates damage to the road surface. Potholes in particular form more frequently during these winter months.
The Highways Maintenance Team monitors this type of road surface damage as part of the routine inspections programme and also when potholes or other damage is reported to us.
There are some 200 bridges and other structures in the Borough. Each is given a general inspection every 2 years and a detailed inspection every 6 years to identify maintenance requirements.
We also have a bridge assessment and strengthening programme to ensure that our bridges are able to carry 40 tonne loading, as now required by EU legislation.
Fly posting causes the area to look untidy and can cause damage to street furniture. Officers can remove fly posting from sites under their control. It is an offence to paint, inscribe, fix a picture, letter or sign or other mark on the surface of the highway or on a tree, structure or other work on the highway. Prosecutions of those responsible can be taken under both the Highways Act 1980 and the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.
Where fly posting is noticed during routine inspection it is either immediately removed and disposed of or a contractor is instructed to remove it. If you notice any fly posting please let us know so that we can make arrangements for its removal.
It is illegal to cross the footway (or grass verge) to get to your property in a car unless a pro-per crossing has been installed. This involves lowering the kerb and strengthening the footway so that a car running over it does not damage it.
Upon request, we will supply you with an application pack which lets you know how to apply. To cover our costs of inspecting the work and arranging for permission to be granted there is a charge. In certain circumstances permission will not be granted; for example, if the access is at a point where visibility is restricted and therefore potentially dangerous. It is always wise to get permission before employing contractors to construct an access.
In certain circumstances planning permission is required before permission can be granted. This is normally when the crossover is on a classified ('A', 'B' or 'C') road but we can advise you on this.
We can arrange for the works to be carried out for you - but this is a charge for this. We also have to find out whether the crossover will affect any statutory undertakers (e.g. gas, electric, water) equipment and this can take a while (up to 3 months). Provided you go through the correct procedure you can also employ your own builder to construct the crossover. However, the builder needs to have adequate insurance and must be accredited under the New Roads and Street Works Act.
See the Highways - Traffic section for information on Dropped kerbs/crossovers - access markings (parking across)
Where unauthorised activity is taking place on the public highway we ensure that it is stopped. This ranges from the stopping the utilities (gas, electric, water board etc.) digging up the roads at the wrong time to taking down fly posting. Where possible we will work with the people to ensure that the works are carried out correctly but if necessary we will prosecute people who do not comply with the regulations.
There are around 20,000 gullies and 400 soakaways that take away water from the highway. There is a regular programme of inspection and cleansing in place to ensure that these work properly.
A number of the gullies drain into roadside ditches which, in general, are not our responsibility to maintain. The adjacent landowner is normally responsible for making sure that these are kept clear.
During the winter the weather is constantly monitored and we normally know when snow is expected. The main roads and bus routes are gritted in advance, as are other minor roads that we know cause particular problems in bad weather. When snow arrives the gritters are employed to ensure that the main routes are kept as clear as possible. When snow falls we normally spread around 200 tonnes of salt in a day. Whilst we will try to salt residential roads these are not treated as a priority and have to wait until we are sure that the main roads have been cleared.
For more information, please see our Winter Maintenance Programme - Gritting Routes page.
We do clear footways and pedestrian areas by hand. These are dealt with in order of their importance and the first areas treated are shopping centres, schools (when they are open), and medical centres. Again we will deal with other areas but only after we are sure that the priority areas have been dealt with.
If you see a boundary (old or new) and you believe it may be dangerous, please report it so that a Building Control Surveyor can check it and have the danger removed. This includes highway retaining walls and walls providing a safety barrier. The number to call during office hours (8:30am-5:00pm) is 01375 652008. The "Out of Office" hours number is 01375 372468. Alternatively, you can Report it Online.