19/09/2013 - Permalink

New system helping to improve communities and speed up road repairs

Related topics: Community

Repairs to Shropshire’s roads are now being completed more efficiently thanks to a new system introduced by the council and its contractor, Ringway. 

Work gangs are now fixing an average of 22 potholes or other problems, such as dealing with litter, overhanging branches and damaged signs, each day.  That’s a big increase in productivity following the introduction of the new ‘Hedge to Hedge’ system.

The majority of problems reported by members of the public are now being fixed within three days, compared to up to 24 days previously.

The new approach has been introduced following a redesign of how the service is delivered.  The Hedge to Hedge system is designed to cut the red tape and reduce reliance on computer systems, which used to hold up the process between problems being reported and fixed by the teams working out on the roads.

Claire Wild, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for highways and transport, said:

“We are delighted with the initial results which have shown a good improvement in response times.  The ethos behind Hedge to Hedge is very simple – we just want to help our contractors get on with fixing the problems, rather than spending time filling in forms and following procedure.

“We used to send crews out to inspect roads and maintain our communities, who would then report any issues they found to be fixed on a separate date by a different crew.  Under the new system, the maintenance crews have been provided with more adaptable equipment, and more responsibility to select the work to be undertaken, so they can go out first and fix any problems they find.

 “This is not only speeding things up but saving money and ultimately improving the quality of our roads and how our communities look.  I would like to thank our contractor, Ringway, for its co-operation, because it’s Ringway staff who are out there doing the repairs.”

Shropshire Council is among the first in the country to implement such a scheme, and it is expected that other councils are likely to follow suit.  The council has been invited to submit a national case study to help other councils redesign their services.