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Buckinghamshire citizens can report highway defects using iPhone app

Aug 23, 2011
An application for the Apple iPhone developed by Masternaut for Transport for Buckinghamshire, allows people in Buckinghamshire to report poor road surfaces and faulty street lights.

People in Buckinghamshire can now use an Apple iPhone to photograph and report a pothole, loose paving, broken bollard or faulty street light. Developed by Masternaut for Transport for Buckinghamshire (TfB), the app captures a digital image of the defect with its geolocation and transmits it back to highway maintenance teams. This gives highways managers important information direct from the scene which helps with managing response levels and providing better service.

"Using this app, iPhones provide much more detailed information than a standard telephone call or e-mail. Buckinghamshire residents who have these smartphones are our eyes on the street. They help us to review the nature of the problem and see its location. We would normally have to visit the scene to get this level of intelligence before deciding on a course of action," said Marc Evans, ICT Systems Manager for TfB.

Transport for Buckinghamshire is a partnership between Buckinghamshire County Council and highway infrastructure services provider Ringway Jacobs. The app augments the TfB award winning online Service Information Centre, a special website that incorporates live data feeds from Masternaut's real-time vehicle tracking and mobile service management software.

"The success of the Service Information Centre prompted us to develop a way of literally putting the best and most useful parts of the website into the hands of the public. This mobile solution allows residents to have a live view of our activities at all times but also gives them the opportunity to inform us of defects and problems as they arise. With a smartphone they have a dynamic link to the website that allows them to report problems directly to us," said Marc Evans.

The app also allows residents to monitor whether TfB has responded to their fault reports. In addition, they can see gritting and gulley teams in action as they work to keep the roads open and safe. The app is integrated with the website's Twitter feed so that residents are alerted to road closures or any other matter that may affect their travelling.

"We are proud to be a transparent organisation that is dedicated to serving Buckinghamshire stakeholders. The enhanced web-based service enables them to hold us accountable and it is an important aid to enabling localism, with the public having a clearer view of our operations throughout the county," concluded Marc Evans.

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