Who to Complain to About Roadworks

Although roadworks can be inconvenient for road users or local residents, they are usually repairs or upgrades necessary for public safety. If the roadworks are unsafe or causing an excessive disturbance, you might want to report a complaint about them. The agency to complain to will depend on which organisation is carrying out the roadworks and why.

Complain to Company About Roadworks

Often, utility companies which are responsible for maintaining pipes or wires in the area will have to carry out roadworks to access these. You should be able to tell which company is carrying out the roadworks by looking for the worker’s vans or signs notifying the public of the roadworks taking place. These cases normally should not last for more than a few days at a time. If you wish to complain about roadworks by a utility company, you should follow the complaints procedure for that company, which will be listed on their website.

For example, companies you might see carrying out roadworks to access underground infrastructure include internet companies like Openreach, broadband media companies like Sky, power companies like British Gas, or water companies such as Yorkshire Water.

Complain to Council About Roadworks

If there is an issue with a public road which requires repair, you should report this to the local council which is responsible for the general maintenance of that road. Reporting a fault is a separate process from making a complaint. If the council is already undertaking roadworks to repair a fault, you can then complain to the council if their activities have been causing any problems. When major roadworks are going ahead, the council should notify residents in the area by letter and advise them on the duration of the disruption.

One of the most common reasons to complain to the council about roadworks is a noise complaint or the roadworks blocking public access such as a footpath or a private driveway. Each council will have their own complaints procedure with a specific time scale and ways to contact them. You can usually find an online form, a phone number, or a postal address for complaints if you search “place name council complaints” in your browser. For example, to complain to Leeds City Council, the search would be for “Leeds City Council complaints”.

Complain to Highways Agency About Roadworks

Roadworks on motorways or major roads are usually the concern of the Highways Agency, not the local council. You would have to contact the responsible agency according to the location, which could be Highways England, Transport Scotland, or the Welsh Assembly. You can find the contact details easily with a quick Google search for the relevant agency.

In the case of Highways England, they should attempt to respond to your complaint within 15 working days. You can contact them again to request a review of their response to the complaint if you are not happy with it. Escalate the issue to the Chief Executive if they still fail to resolve the issue. If you are still not satisfied with the handling of your roadworks complaint, you can escalate it to the Independent Complaints Assessor at the Department of Transport or the Parliamentary Ombudsman. This process could take several months.