Highways and Byways

A few blogs back I was telling you about our planning session with the Technical team, those people who look after our highways and other related infrastructure.  I said that it was an attempt to look at where we are going and how both services could work together to get there yet I never got around to some of the ideas that we covered.

It is quite hard to look forward.  It is much easier to think of things that are happening today and work on those yet we all know that the present is never a good predictor of the future.  After we had oden our introductions and been around the houses for a while, we felt that it would be a good idea to consider the problems that we would like to fix.  By imagining what life would be like if that thing that has been troubling us was to go away, we might be able to get somewhere.  We went round the table.

John wanted greater coordination with the public.  He wanted to be able to inform and consult on roadworks and have improved fault reporting.  Neil wondered what we offer to make it easier for people to report issues.  Steve thought about reliable broadband to be able to report all of this stuff, perhaps using the street furniture.

Another Steve wanted to see improved communication among stakeholders, while Chris said that we have a lot of data which could be used for improved maintenance scheduling and asset lifecycle management.

Brian, on the other hand was concerned about the physical assets.  He wanted to have an attribute for each asset to make it easier to coordinate all the road works (there are 18,000 digs in the road network each year).

I thought about greater use of IOT, perhaps around gully monitoring, while Bob thought about tracking and traceability, having more information to help with scheduling and route planning.  Finally, Mark thought about winter maintenance and letting people know what had been gritted

In the end we decided on three areas of focus: Better customer engagement; Better use of data and: Moving from a more passive set of systems (inspections) to a more active one relying on information sent to us.

We’re all going to have a think about what these mean before we get down to trying and resolving them.

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