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Reporting a problem on the road is now a ‘hole’ lot easier

ALERTING Somerset County Council to potholes or a host of other problems on the road is now easier and quicker – and now you can track its progress after you’ve reported it.

Gone is the need to make phone calls or send emails – thanks to a new upgraded online system with an improved interactive map, members of the public can report a problem at any time.

A spokesperson for the county council said: “From potholes, blocked drains and broken manhole covers, to overgrown vegetation, damaged pavements or cycle paths, faulty traffic lights or missing markings – they can all be reported in just minutes from a smartphone, tablet or computer.”

The full range and how to report is available here  www.somerset.gov.uk/roads-and-transport/report-a-problem-on-the-road/.

Cllr Faye Purbrick, the county council’s Cabinet Member for Transformation, said: “The new improved Report It system has been delivered by our dedicated Digital Team as part of ongoing improvements to the Digital Customer Programme.

“It is an exciting time to be working in the council’s Digital Team and there are great opportunities available for people who want to innovate and deliver great customer solutions to join us.

“Our goal is to use digital innovation to transform the way that residents engage with the Council, taking away the need for emails and phone calls to our busy contact centre, unless that is their preferred way of getting in touch.

Save time

“This will save people time and enable them to report problems when it’s convenient for them, it will also free up our advisors to help the public with other enquiries.”

The new development means that if you’re reporting a fault you can now track its progress.

All you need to do is take a quick picture of the fault then visit the Report It site on your phone, answer a few simple questions and upload your picture. You’ll be sent a link which enables you to track it.

Cllr John Woodman, the county council’s Cabinet Member for Highways added: “This is now an excellent tool to alert our teams quickly and efficiently so they can carry out repairs across the network.

“Please do take a look and make use of the system, and tell us what you think, we want to hear your feedback.

“The system works through seven stages:

  • You take a picture of the fault – please only do so if it’s safe and legal.
  • You fill in the form and submit your picture at the link above – if it’s a pothole you’ll be asked to roughly estimate its size, e.g. golf ball, tennis ball, or football. You will receive an email thanking you for reporting the fault and carrying a link for you to track its progress.
  • It will then ping up a notification on an engineer’s phone.
  • They will visit and assess – we aim to do this in three working days and depending on size and where it is will try to repair it within 28 days, or sooner if it’s an emergency. All defects are risk assessed and either allocated a repair within 28 days, added to a routine works programme or monitored.
  • While on site the engineer sends a works order electronically to our contractor to schedule the job in our routine repairs programme.
  • The contractor comes out and repairs the fault.
  • You’ll get an email confirming this has happened.

“We set high standards with our roads and the number of potholes in Somerset has fallen from 27,479 in 2010 to 19,282 in 2020 as a direct result of our proactive approach to maintenance.

“From April 1 to November 19, 11,721 potholes have been repaired. We regularly carry out inspections and also encourage the public to report potholes to us so we can take action.

“Where a pothole is found we have a proven track record in responding quickly, and in October 2021 we repaired more than 96% of potholes within our target response times.”

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