Device helps stretch road budget

The latest mobile technology is being used by East Riding Council to make sure its highways budget stretches as far as possible.

The council’s highways maintenance team, part of streetscene services, is in the process of developing the latest technology using personal digital assistants - hand-held computer devices.

Highways engineers are now using the devices to locate and log defects to the roads and pavements across the East Riding using mapping technology. It is allowing the switch from paper records to electronic recordings.

John Skidmore, head of streetscene services, said: “We are able to build up a detailed picture of our roads and pavements in a way that has not before been possible.

“It is completely changing the way our engineers work by enabling them to electronically capture information as they cover the 1,000 square miles of our area.

“The timely repair of our 3,500km road network helps us to ensure the continued safety of the travelling public.”

Once engineers have carried out inspections, the devices are ‘docked’ in the office and the data fed into a software system, adding to the detailed picture and automatically generating jobs for the council’s highway repair teams.

Among the benefits are that it enables the council’s highways budget to be more focused on those areas in greater need of long-term repair and investment.

Other benefits of the electronic data capture include a uniform and concise inspection and defect reporting process across the authority. Efficiencies will be realised as the data will ensure that the council maintains its robust defence against third party claims.