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Blackpool’s live Internet service plots road works and tackles traffic congestion

Posted: 10 February 2010

An intelligent map of Blackpool's roads is at the heart of an award-winning project that is transforming highways maintenance and street works in the popular seaside resort.
The computer system captures and presents information about day-to-day changes that may affect Blackpool's roads and delivers the information via an easy to use web mapping tool to support essential decision making.
Residents and visitors to Blackpool can now obtain information about the location, duration and impact of both current and planned road maintenance and improvement projects in and around the resort. Users of the Council website can choose a backdrop of street maps or aerial photography before selecting the information they wish to display and interact with. The information, based on the National Street Gazetteer (NSG), is constantly updated and can be supplemented with safety information, service requests and details from the Council's asset register. The project won Blackpool Council the 2009 âNational Street Gazetteer' Exemplar Award for âMost Effective Street Works Integration'.
"We understood that there was a âtechnological disconnect' between those people who collect and manage data, often using complex software, and those who require information in order to make decisions whether they be senior managers, council members or citizens," commented Will Britain, Principal Engineer at Blackpool Council. "Addressing this divide has resulted in well maintained, easily accessible data creating an information rich resource for the Council, business and the community."
Councillor Maxine Callow, Cabinet Member for Tourism and Regeneration said: "Using the system, staff can determine the impact of planned works and make decisions based on the disruption it may cause. It means that we should not be faced with a situation where diversion routes around one set of works are interrupted by another set of road works unless it is absolutely necessary."
"This new approach to the collection, management and distribution of data has generated a lot of interest from other Councils and even the Department of Transport for the way it allows residents to get the bigger picture of road works across the town. It has also resulted in interest from other organisations including Microsoft, leading academic institutions and received another award from the Department of Transport," concluded Britain.
24 March 2010

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