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Innovation in Highways

It will soon be easier to report street faults thanks to a new online portal. My Highways Online will allow parish representatives and members to pinpoint the location of a problem, sending the co-ordinates and details of the fault to the Kent Highways Customer Service System Customers will then receive a reference number and commitment date so they can log in online to view the latest status of the reported problem. The whole process will increase efficiency with faults resolved faster and overheads reduced.

This system adopts an open and honest approach which will not only increase customer trust and satisfaction, but also put pressure on Highways to provide a first class service. Highways expects the service to be fully interactive by the end of this month and are looking to make it publicly available on the Kent.gov website by the end of this year.

Fixmystreet.com is a similar idea, run by My Society. Similarly it allows users to locate problems on a map but also to upload a picture of the problem, which is then displayed on the website. My Highways currently does not support this feature but it is hoped that users will be able to do this in future. Marcus Hobbs from Highways told me that 'aim is to integrate this (fixmystreet.com) and similar sites in time.. and provide automatic updates to them'. In addition, displaying previous problems and how they were resolved would be an excellent extension to the open and honest approach Highways are planning to adopt.

That’s not all Highways are doing to increase efficiency. Kent County Council and Parishes have access to Kent View a detailed map, which now shows Highways asset information. Users can view, at street level, the location of drainage, street lights, trees and traffic systems. There are plans to add information about reported faults, which will make identification of problems much faster.

Street level photos of A, B and C roads are available which allows remote monitoring and assessment of deterioration. There are plans to invest in a scanner vehicle to create a 360 degree view of streets, similar to Google’s street view. The pictures will be taken twice a year at a high resolution to enable desktop inspections, for example if a sign is damaged Highways can look at pictures to re-order rather than visiting the site. This avoids unnecessarily sending out crews, saving money.

What are you doing that’s innovative? Contact us now.

-C Matthews
-With special thanks to Marcus Hobbs from Environment and Regeneration

(image: screenshot of fixmystreet.com with an image of a reported fault)

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