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Seen a nasty pot on your route? Want it fixed sooner rather than later? Fill That Hole is an app that could make it happen…

What is it?

FillThatHole.org.uk is provided by the Cycling UK charity (CTC), and was launched in 2007. It was originally developed for cyclists, who are obviously at greater risk of injury from potholes, but it's now used by all types of road user, from delivery drivers to motorists worried about pranging their vehicle. Since an app was launched in 2010 it's become more widely used, and all users need to do is fill out the short questionnaire provided by the app and add a photo of the pothole to notify the local authority.  

The app interface is simple - add a description of your location, name the hazard type (you can also report debris, poor roadworks or uneven manholes), and give the estimated size, depth and distance from the kerb of the hazard in question. The Fill That hole website shows that just short of 7,000 hazards have already being reported this year by users, and they also rate local authorities' response to the reports. Islington currently top the table, fixing 825 of 985 reported, and Blaneau Gwent foot the chart fixing none of the 20 reported hazards on their roads.  

Why is it unique? 

It's a one-stop shop for reporting potholes, and is probably the best way to get the message across to the council short of press attention or protesting! Providing there's somewhere safe to stop and take a photo, you can have a pothole reported mid-ride quickly and easily. 

Fill That Hole achieved something prestigious and seemingly unlikely in 2010, when CCT actually received funding of £30,000 from the Department for Transport to develop an Android version of the app and revamp the website to make it more user-friendly - showing how important and well thought of Fill That Hole is by the government. 

Pothole

Pothole

The app makes it easier to report craters like the one above, notifying the council of road sections in need of urgent repair

 

How can it help me?

At its best, Fill That Hole could help you and other cyclists ride on safer, smoother roads due to the extra public pressure put on councils to repair potholes. There's varying levels of success in our own experience, but of course this depends on how receptive your local council are to the advice and how many people report the offending pothole. Roads in need of repair is an ongoing issue and one that many cyclists in the UK wish was tended to more efficiently, but Fill That Hole is certainly a useful tool towards ensuring dangerous potholes can't be ignored by the council. 

 

Where can I get it?

Fill That Hole is available on iOS and Android – you can also use it on desktop via the Fill That Hole website if you don’t have the app at hand, where you can click through to Cycling UK's main website and join if you wish. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After cobbling together a few hundred quid during his student days off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story), Jack bought his first road bike at the age of 20 and has been hooked ever since.  He joined road.cc in 2017, having previously worked for 220 Triathlon magazine. Jack's preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking (the latter being another long story), and on Sunday afternoons he can often be found on an M5 service station indulging in his favourite post-race meal of 20 chicken nuggets, a sausage roll, caramel shortbread and a large strawberry milkshake. 

10 comments

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Forzamark [14 posts] 3 weeks ago
6 likes

Theres only 1 problem with this app. Id like to ride my bike and not stop every minute to take my phone out and fill in a report. It would take me all day just to do 50 miles.

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Jack Sexty [13 posts] 3 weeks ago
4 likes

Forzamark wrote:

Theres only 1 problem with this app. Id like to ride my bike and not stop every minute to take my phone out and fill in a report. It would take me all day just to do 50 miles.

That's too true, especially in my area! You can make reports without photos if you know where the pothole(s) was on your route, so it's either a test of memory or patience... I'd say the blame is with the local authority more than the app in such cases though. 

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CygnusX1 [449 posts] 3 weeks ago
0 likes

A similar app is FixMyStreet - It also lets you submit reports of pot-holes, optionally add photos, works out location on GPS and sends to the right council.

However you can also submit reports of fly tipping,  broken street lighting etc.  

 

 

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georgee [177 posts] 3 weeks ago
2 likes

Do be concious councils such as LB Merton have made an active choice to block fixmystreet/fillthathole reports to massge their numbers and shirk liability if your injured by them.

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LastBoyScout [177 posts] 3 weeks ago
0 likes

Reading council still haven't fixed the pot holes I reported 2 years ago - last time I chased, they have apparently been monitoring the situation and are not yet at intervention level!

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Jimbomitch [160 posts] 3 weeks ago
4 likes
LastBoyScout wrote:

Reading council still haven't fixed the pot holes I reported 2 years ago - last time I chased, they have apparently been monitoring the situation and are not yet at intervention level!

 

There is a hole in the road, Reading Council are looking into it......

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Tony [127 posts] 3 weeks ago
0 likes

I used to use this a lot until I twigged that nothing happened.   Same potholes are there years after I reported them so now the question is what is the point?

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Duncann [981 posts] 3 weeks ago
1 like
Tony wrote:

I used to use this a lot until I twigged that nothing happened.   Same potholes are there years after I reported them so now the question is what is the point?

I found the opposite, although I'm fortunate enough not to have too many potholes to report these days. Might depend on your local authority, the class of roads, and their/your definition of a pothole. Might be worth sending them an email to ask for their policy on what constitutes a pothole in need of repair...?

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blurb [13 posts] 3 weeks ago
1 like

I used to use it a lot for my commute route and it did work.

I've used it less of late as the situation just isn't getting better and I've resorted to memorising all the bad holes.

One of the problems is the council making poor quality repairs which simply recurr a few months later, especially during the winter, and you find yourself reporting the same holes.

 

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matthewn5 [1006 posts] 2 weeks ago
0 likes

Islington's been really good at fixing potholes reported through the app - so I'm happy with it.