Request a demo

Gloucestershire County Council

The implementation of FixMyStreet Pro accelerated an ambitious highways transformation programme for Gloucestershire County Council.

“We used FixMyStreet Pro as a catalyst for change.”

Gloucestershire County Council introduced FixMyStreet Pro in the autumn of 2023, just in time for the return of winter weather conditions.

Its implementation formed part of a fast-paced and substantial transformation programme for the Council’s highways service, aimed at regaining public confidence and improving efficiency.

Sitting in the vanguard of this transformation programme, it was FixMyStreet Pro’s job to make Gloucestershire’s digital front door to highways defect reporting more user friendly, more efficient and more transparent.

Creating change quickly

Just four months into using FixMyStreet Pro, Charlotte Green, Project Manager – Digital & Business Relationships at Gloucestershire County Council, joined one of our FixMyStreet Pro user groups to share an update on how the service is working and the impact it has already had.

Watch a recording from the user group below:

“I am pleased to say it is now easier for people to report issues and keep updated on repair work. FixMyStreet Pro is another innovation that will improve things for our customers and boost efficiency. Keeping Gloucestershire moving is a top priority and the council are investing heavily in better roads for residents.”

— Cllr Dom Morris, cabinet member responsible for highways and flooding at Gloucestershire County Council

The situation

Gloucestershire was facing challenges across its highways service area. The technology and systems used by the Council for highways management were identified among several key workstreams that required transformation. In particular, Gloucestershire wanted to improve public perception of its highways service by refining the online customer journey residents take when reporting faults on Gloucestershire’s roads and highways.

Residents were struggling to self-serve defect reports online using the existing service due to a lack of user-friendliness and a complicated user journey. This consistently resulted in only around 30% of reports being made online. Meanwhile, high volumes of reports were coming through expensive channels like email, which had a knock-on effect internally due to duplication of effort and manual intervention.

Improving communication and increasing transparency were also important to Gloucestershire. The existing system did not allow for clear enough feedback with the public about reports and their progress due to limitations of the software and its ability to collect and share data that would ameliorate this. The consequences of this spanned the creation of failure demand and an unsatisfactory experience for report-makers who would, in some cases, be told that the defect they had found did not exist, when in fact it just didn’t meet the intervention criteria.

Gloucestershire also wanted to create more consistency across its digital reporting offering. Previously, different highways service areas were using different forms and systems to take reports of defects. This again caused problems in terms of user-friendliness and accessibility, as well as in relation to what information could be shared with report-makers about their reports.

The solution

Change was needed, and given that this was part of a wider programme of transformation it needed to be the kind of change that delivers results quickly, while also being iterative and sustainable. FixMyStreet Pro was identified as the solution that could provide this.

Within just five months of procuring FixMyStreet Pro, we were able to deliver a minimal viable product (MVP) for Gloucestershire to usher in the first wave of positive service transitions for highways. As Charlotte puts it in her presentation at the user group: “To go from nothing to a live system within five months is a miracle, and we’re very proud of that”.

The MVP was a Gloucestershire-branded version of FixMyStreet Pro, ready for residents to self-serve defect reports. Included in the MVP was an integration with Confirm, the existing asset management system used by the highways service, enabling an automated, two-way flow of report data to be shared from report-maker to council and back again. This meant that Gloucestershire could close the feedback loop and begin improving communication and transparency about reports, marrying together information stored within Confirm with user-friendly response templates and status updates within FixMyStreet Pro.

The MVP also included asset layers to be displayed on the FixMyStreet Pro map for Public Rights of Way, public land and private land. This, along with a refined defect category structure, helps residents make more accurate reports and eliminates the creation of avoidable contact for reports that cannot be actioned by the Council. Where reports are the responsibility of another authority, FixMyStreet Pro automatically diverts them, including to National Highways.

To help improve public perception of the Council’s highways service, the MVP also delivered a prototype for the display of defects raised by safety inspectors. This helps people see that the Council is taking proactive action to fix defects, and also reduces the need for members of the public to report problems the highways service is already aware of.

45%Increase in online reporting within 4 months of launching FixMyStreet Pro

The impact FixMyStreet Pro has had so far

At the time of Charlotte’s user group session in February 2024, Gloucestershire had only been using FixMyStreet Pro for four months. Even in such a short time, Charlotte reported several points of success for the Council to date.

Perhaps most significantly, FixMyStreet Pro ignited a 45% increase in online reporting for Gloucestershire, instantly helping the Council to bring down the high number of reports coming through expensive channels like email by restoring confidence in the online system.

FixMyStreet Pro’s introduction also brought about quick improvements to processes, both directly and indirectly. “We used FixMyStreet Pro as a catalyst for change,” explains Charlotte. “We had processes that needed to be changed and […] it gave us the momentum to actually make real changes with our processes across our teams.”

Supported by the plethora of features made available to Gloucestershire’s highways staff in the MVP, these new processes enabled the Council to straight away increase transparency in relation to how reports are being dealt with. From being able to automatically send plain English updates to report-makers, to showing existing reports on the map, to displaying problems found by safety inspectors, these improvements all resulted in fewer complaints around responses to defect reports.

Internally, this impacted positively on the highways service as a whole. As Charlotte points out, it is still early days to have lots of quantifiable statistics around this, but they have noticed a lift in how the teams and management have been feeling after coming out of peak demand season in comparison to last year’s winter.

The future

With FixMyStreet Pro being a puzzle piece within a wider highways transformation programme for Gloucestershire, the Council has lots of plans to scale the service to continue to affect positive change in line with other operational transitions. These include things like photo prompts for potholes, further refining the auto responses based on feedback and building traffic and transport reporting into FixMyStreet Pro to create even more consistency.

Looking ahead, the ultimate goal Gloucestershire hopes to achieve with FixMyStreet Pro is to have online reporting account for 80% of enquiries, with 0% of reports coming through email. The remaining 20% is hoped to be reserved for telephone reports from residents who cannot access online services or require extra support.

They are ambitious plans, and based on how well the first four months have gone, we have no doubt that Charlotte and the team at Gloucestershire will achieve them with FixMyStreet Pro.

Schedule your one-to-one demo

Request a demo