Lincolnshire County Council has seen a rise in the number of official roadworks taking place in the county from over 19,000 in 2014 to over 29,000 in 2016. Much of this is essential infrastructural investment which the public welcomes - if the inevitable disruptions to roads and services can be communicated positively and clearly.
How to turn a potential source of citizen and Councillors’ complaints into a positive message was the challenge faced by Head of Highways, Steve Willis and his team, and how to do so in ways which encourages self-service in a climate of cost reduction.
Lincolnshire County Council had long been communicating official roadworks notices through the national database formerly known as elgin.gov.uk and re launched in 2011 as roadworks.org.
As roadworks.org has grown its footprint into becoming what SOCITM has called “the primary source of information about roadworks”, Lincolnshire knew that the official notices were available to the public, but realised they were often written in an official highways “engineering-speak”, which did not optimise easy communication to its residents.
As statutory notices have a time lag, it also wanted a real-time communications channel and a means of improving roadworks explanations.
“The Comms App ticked all our boxes – self-serve for the public, the e-Government agenda, promoting information more effectively and all at lower costs. Being a cloud-based system it didn’t require any IT integration. The Elgin suite of web-based Apps are so intuitive to use that it required very little training and it is used now by our Streetworks, Network Management and Communications Teams. Also by embedding roadworks.org into our own site and by promoting its use – especially to our residents – we tripled the number of self-served enquires to over 300,000 after the first year of its operation”.
Lincolnshire County Council
Lincolnshire County Council decided to adopt the Communications App (Comms App) – a low cost add-on to roadworks.org.
This simple content management system enabled both the Streetworks team and the Communications team to enhance generic descriptions of roadworks types, but also to individualise descriptions and updates of works that were causing particular grief to citizens or congestion to motorists.
Links are inserted into the official notice – to relevant pages of the Council’s website or to individual pdf documents for more information – and individual works up to the minute status are published on both roadwork.org and its embedded version on Lincolnshire’s own Council website.
of self-served enquiries
with current systems and processes
with a wider reach than previously