With winter weather come the inevitable problems that need reporting by citizens across the UK’s network of roads and highways. From potholes to floods to fallen trees, every year the councils and public authorities responsible for investigating these reports rise to the challenge of dealing with increased contacts from citizens.
For over ten years now, our FixMyStreet Pro service has been helping to reduce the load on those authorities, while also improving the reporting experience for citizens, by closing the feedback loop and increasing transparency.
With councils helping to drive our product development roadmap, we’ve added a whole host of features and functions that help to keep contacts down, especially during seasons of high demand. Check out some of our favourites below.
One report per defect. That’s our ultimate aim in publicly displaying existing reports on the map for citizens to take a look and see whether the problem they have spotted has already been brought to your attention.
When a citizen clicks on the map to make a report and selects a category, FixMyStreet Pro will find any similar reports within the same area and suggest them to the citizen before they continue with their report. If the problem has already been reported, the citizen can simply subscribe to the existing report instead of creating a new one.
For you, that means no duplication of effort, and a faster way to keep any interested citizens updated on the report’s progress.
What’s even better than stopping duplicate reports? Removing the need to report a problem in the first place – something FixMyStreet Pro does by enabling you to display upcoming remedial works on the map.
If a problem’s location and category corresponds to some works you’ve already scheduled, display a message detailing the works and expected completion date to reassure the citizen that no report is needed, just like Bath & North East Somerset are doing in the image to the left.
Alternatively, you can display works as alternative pins on the map, to display when ‘All reports’ are selected by citizens, just like Oxfordshire County Council.
It’s always great when citizens care enough about their local neighbourhood to report any problems to you. And because they care, they tend to want to know exactly what’s happening about fixing the problem not long after reporting it, especially if the issue is affecting their everyday life.
By integrating with any and all back office systems you use, FixMyStreet Pro makes it easy for your teams to keep report-makers updated on the progress of their reports. Tell them that it’s due to be inspected, let them know when works have been scheduled, even send them a photo when the problem’s been resolved – all at the click of a button.
This way, you can reduce the likelihood of citizens jumping straight onto the phone or emailing you to chase for an update on their report.
Some problems need to be dealt with faster than others. Trees blocking roads, serious flooding or dangerous potholes are all examples of problems you might need to know about a bit faster than via a digital report.
In those cases, you can display emergency messaging on FixMyStreet Pro and signpost to the best way for citizens to tell you about emergencies, whether that’s a phone number or an email.
In areas like London where multiple authorities are responsible for fixing different problems, FixMyStreet Pro’s intelligent functionality to reroute reports to the correct place really comes in handy, helping you to avoid having to process reports that you can’t fix.
Depending on the location and category of the report, FixMyStreet Pro will automatically work out who’s responsible for a problem, and direct the citizen away from your service with no interruption to the reporting process and no intervention required from your staff.
For more information about how FixMyStreet Pro can help you to improve reporting for you and your residents, why not book a quick demo?
Image: Jonathan Bean