Reporting Potholes


The number one current issue for politicians, councils and much of the public is potholes. They are an important issue for drivers but also pedestrians and cyclists. They damage vehicles, cause accidents, and lead to expensive repairs . We must work towards creating safer roads and one solution is for residents to contribute to an online database.

Bespoke and Eco Action Eastbourne are experimenting with ‘Stan the App’. It is easy to use and utilises ‘cutting-edge computer vision technology’ to identify road defects, such as potholes, with remarkable accuracy. Just by driving  you help to build a comprehensive database of road defects, enabling the prioritisation of repairs more effectively.


National Pothole Day revealed 21% of UK cyclists had accidents caused by potholes. This was evident when Bespoke Cycle Group, for their Kidical Mass ride, had to change the route to avoid the worst potholes in town. Many of the faults had been reported to  but there is no way of knowing when the issue will be resolved and sometimes unclear if someone else has already reported it. Or you could use where you can report a range of other issues on roads and cyclepaths. The system will then pass on your report to the relevant council.

With Stan, every pothole ‘reported’  adds to a more detailed picture. The system uses all the reports to show how big the problem is. It empowers residents to become highway surveyors and holds authorities accountable for road repairs.

In neighbouring West Sussex there was a focus on four towns. The worst of them was Worthing, where the comprehensive road map is still shown heavily in ‘red’.

The easiest way to get involved, is simply download the app to your phone and then record a video of your journey. The app will only upload when you use your wifi. A short time later the system , through AI, has worked out the road defects and added them to the UK map. There is an other option of taking photos and this may be more relevant for cyclists. The system knows where you are and once again you just upload when it is convenient.

There are other apps out there, but it will be more effective if everybody uses the same one and Stan is the RAC’s official pothole reporting partner. You can download the application from both App store and Google Play.

Future Action

In a few months time, the idea would be to write a report for councils and politicians to give them the information they need to get crucial repairs done. It may be that East Sussex Highways would then use it as a source of information

If you are interested in getting involved and want further information, videos and case histories go to


This article was submitted to Eastbourne Herald but here is some further content. If your internet connection is slow uploading content can take time. However with reasonable bandwidth unless you have recorded a long trip it should be okay. Generally video the routes you have not recorded before. Still experimenting if H.264 or H.265 is best for the video.

In photo mode try to include something that would give the pothole a scale . So perhaps a car wheel, kerb or road marking. Otherwise hard for the system to assess the pothole size.

West Sussex

Here is an example from Worthing of what is possible when residents are involved – Red is a serious problem and Green is okay.


Here is the starting point with only a few people using the app. Note how around the Golf Course is poor and incomplete. However after a few days it  seems to have filled in the whole route so be patient.

Cycling notes

Trying to record video while cycling, even on an MTB with suspension, may have poorer results. It will not record if going too slow and may struggle with media content that shakes. The system also appears to reject many photos even where there are serious potholes. Overall the effectiveness of uploading data from driving seems higher

Paul Humphreys – EEAN Transport, Bespoke Cycle Group, Cycle East Sussex