NSG Exemplar Award Runner up – Most Effective LSG and Street Works Integration 2009: Dorset County Council.
Driven by the requirements of the Traffic Management Act (TMA), Dorset County Council has joined forces with neighbouring unitary authorities - Bournemouth Borough Council and Poole Borough Council - to improve the co-ordination of street works, regardless of administrative boundaries. The TMA requires local authorities to use joint facilities in delivering their respective and required duties; specifically to publish street works registers on the web; use online applications to process Street Works Notices; and coordinate the management of road works with neighbouring authorities.
The first of its kind in the country, this project builds on the development work already undertaken by Dorset to upgrade its system for the Electronic Transfer of Notices (EToN), in essence providing a link for Bournemouth and Poole to access the existing application. Each authority maintains ownership and maintenance of its own LSG, uploading the data, on a regular basis, to the centralised system. This data then underpins both the noticing system, with each user accessing and managing only notices that relate to their own highway network, and an in-house developed web mapping application (Dorset Explorer) that disseminates information to other council staff, works promoters and members of the public.
Since the outset of this project, the understanding of the role and importance of the LSG has been paramount to its success, and, in turn, the promotion of the LSG has led to better ongoing maintenance, and further advances in its development and application across the three authorities.
By creating an online information resource and application for not only street works, but also a range of highway related services and data, the partnership has pioneered the use of shared services to meet the requirements of the TMA. This, in turn, has resulted in efficiency gains and cost savings for each contributing authority, as well as utility companies and other authorised street works contractors, through improved access to information and a single system approach.
The community as a whole has seen a reduction in congestion, resulting in decreased travel times through the coordination of street works and road space booking. In addition, greater public awareness of forthcoming works, through the publishing of advance notices in Dorset Explorer, enables road users to take measures to avoid problem areas, further minimising their impact and possible disruption.
The Shared Service model also offers savings through economies of scale with significant savings and efficiencies in terms of the initial set-up and licensing costs, together with sharing of information, skills and knowledge across all three highways teams.
- Minimising the potential disruption to users of the entire road network through the online dissemination of information via a single website using a bespoke mapping interface.
- Creation of a mechanism for council staff, utility organisations and members of the public to self serve, leading to a reduction in staffing resources at Dorset alone equivalent to ½ full time equivalent.
- Use of Shared Service to promote joined up working between neighbouring authorities and third party organisations, resulting in significant savings and efficiencies and sharing of knowledge and best practice.
- An improved NSG resource with a reduction in health check issues and an improvement in Additional Street Data (ASD) information which can be applied to gain benefit across the contributing authorities and to third party organisations and the community.