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Roads and traffic

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We provide a range of services to maintain and improve Wiltshire's roads, highways and pavements and, together with our partners, provide a 24 hour service to keep the highway moving.

We look after all the adopted roads in the county, apart from trunk roads and motorways which are maintained by Highways England. They can be contacted on 0300 123 5000

M4 / A36 / A303 / A419

Potholes and road repairs

We work hard to repair our roads whenever potholes or defects appear.

The council’s response to highway defects are stated in its PDFInspection Manual Inspection Manual 3mb

For defects not covered by the inspection manual, the council monitors the condition. Where discretionary works are required (street name plates, non-safety barriers, signs, lining etc) the council endeavours to complete works at the earliest opportunity. However, due to the priority of statutory and safety works, the time taken for such repairs can be over twelve months.

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The highway drainage system is designed to drain the public highway and ensure it is free from standing water.

During periods of exceptional rainfall, runoff from adjacent land and rising river levels can cause roads to flood even when the drainage is in good working order.

The council empties identified high risk gullies (risk of house flooding or highway safety) every twelve months to prevent flooding.

Gullies that are block that are anticipated to cause flooding on high speed roads or to houses will receive additional empties on a priority basis.

Non-safety drainage issues will be left to when resources allow.

The highway system often discharges into land drainage systems, such as water courses and ditches adjacent to the public highway, which are the responsibility of adjoining land owners.

The council looks for land owners to maintain their land responsibly to ensure it does not adversely affect the public highway. Information on ditch ownership presumption can be found at the Boundary Problems website.

If you would like to report an issue with highway drainage you can report through the council's Report It service.

Public foul sewer drainage is dealt with by your local water board.


Missing or damaged signs are replaced or repaired as necessary and we clean signs when needed. We carry a stock of the common signs (chevron boards, warning and speed), but unique signs have to be specially manufactured and cannot be replaced as quickly.

Temporary signage directing members of the public to free events is permitted on the highway. Signs will be erected by recognised companies such as the AA/RAC or similar and any company wishing to erect temporary signage on the highway must apply and comply with highway authority conditions.

For further information or to apply for the new (brown) tourism signs, please see the policy and application form.

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Road Markings

White lines, road studs and other road markings get worn or damaged, and need to be renewed periodically so this opportunity is used to review the markings to make sure all current standards are met.

Those sites where there is an injury, accident or other identified problem are generally treated as a priority, and all other sites are dealt with as resources permit.Road marking replacement is weather-dependent, and so on resurfaced roads it is not always possible to replace markings immediately.

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We are responsible for the maintenance of almost all of the surfaced pavements (known as footways) within the County.

Defects on the footway will be treated in the same way as defects on the road, however defects on the footway may need a quicker response, especially in areas of high pedestrian activity. Footways throughout the county are also subject to safety inspections.

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Obstructions - Highway enforcement

Any item placed on the road or pavement can be a hazard for cars and pedestrians, especially the partially sighted and the disabled.

It is our responsibility to keep public roads and footpaths clear and safe for the public to use and we will take steps to remove unauthorised obstructions and encroachments.

Types of obstructions include:

  • Advertising signs
  • Skip, scaffolds or building materials (without approval)
  • Unauthorised signs or advertising
  • Unauthorised trading booths
  • Overhanging branches, bushes, hedges or plants

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Road spillages

Some mud and dirt on the road may part of rural living but it is an offence to allow soil from land next to roads to fall, be washed, or carried onto the road. This is the same for building development sites.

We contact the farmer or developer first and ask for the mud to be removed. If it is not removed within a reasonable time we may arrange for the mud to be cleared and charge the person responsible. The Police may prosecute for failure to remove.

The council operates an emergency call out service, 24 hours a day, seven days a week and incidents are usually attended to within two hours of receiving the request. We work alongside the emergency services to keep the road network open and running smoothly.

Report an issue

Contact Details (LiveLink)

Multiple Contacts: 0300 456 0105
eMail: localhighways@wiltshire.gov.uk
Out of hours:
Postal Address:
In Person:

Last updated: 6 November 2015


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