An email to county councillors has revealed what the Lib Dems have been saying all along – that changes to the highways fault reporting system introduced last February were bungled.
The two page note details no fewer than 17 changes to bring the system back to full usability.
Chris White said: ‘The county council now relies heavily on the public to do its work for it so it wasn’t the brightest idea to make it much more difficult for the public to use their on-line reporting system.
‘The original changes should have been tested with users and the Conservative administration should have come clean much earlier about the fact that the system had been made less effective. Instead they denied Lib Dem claims and pretended that all was well.
‘Hopefully they will manage to roll out the 17 changes due in January 2013 without making a mess of things again.’
Summary of changes from late January 2013
• The speed and visibility of the operating System will be smoother with less time delays in pages refreshing.
• The System will be compatible with all modern browsers, including those for smartphone and tablet technology (eg Android 2.2+, Blackberry 6+, iOS 3+, Chrome, Firefox, Safari 3+, IE7+, Dojo based).
• Users will not be shown the “sign in” screen but will be able to “log in” to their account using a link on the front page
• We will reintroduce the “top 5” faults as we had in the previous system
• Visitors to the webpage will be able to search locations by postcode
• Users who wish to leave a mobile phone number (and whose sixth digit is ‘0’) will be able to enter phone numbers details on the system
• Existing open faults will be shown on the map for the location chosen
• Existing problems with winter maintenance faults will be resolved
• Faults can be reported on the system without having to use the map
• If an asset (street light/bollards) is missing the user can log without the map and the missing asset will be flagged up to appropriate team so that the map can be rectified
• Users can ‘subscribe’ to an existing fault and receive the same updates as the person who originally logged it
• A warning message will be displayed if the user selects a location outside Hertfordshire. Similarly there will be greater definition of the Hertfordshire border on the map
• A guidance/video demonstration (opening in a new window) will be provided on the portal so that users can learn how to use fault reporting
• There will be the introduction of a “message board” at the top of the page so that current messages about highway service/fault reporting issues can be displayed and will be populated by editors rather than Serco
• If a user opts to log another fault, their contact details from the previous fault will be auto-filled thereby improving the customer journey
• Users will be able to re-report/chase/update faults depending on the status of the fault at that time. Users trying to chase up faults that are still within the service level agreement will be advised that the fault is being processed within agreed timeframe and will not be able to chase up.
• Closed faults will be able to be re-reported if the hazard still exists or if the user is not satisfied with the resolution provided.