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That's two hours of my life wasted!

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Post by brodco Mon Aug 01, 2022 12:56 pm

Hi wave

Why are Government Departments so senseless? rolleyes so angry
 
Contains references to local places that most people won’t know but necessary for the story.
 
Management and I were on our usual Sunday walk yesterday. There was a short section along a small country road (as there often is) and I noticed a small hole in the road surface about 150 mm ( 6” ish) in diameter.
 
Anyway I was minded to peer into said hole it was obviously quite deep. I found a stick by the side of the road and used it to see how deep it was and I’d estimate about 600 to 750 mm. I also put the stick in as near horizontally as I could bearing in mind that the angle was restricted by the diameter of the hole.
 
 I couldn’t find the edge in any direction so clearly there was a fairly large void under the road and should it give way when a vehicle went over it could cause severe damage or even a nasty accident. As the road was on the side of a hill management reckoned that something like a badger may have tunnelled under the road.
 
Being the good citizen that I am I went on the West Sussex County Council web site pothole reporting page. There were a number of multiple choice questions none of which really applied so I decided to call the given phone number.
 
Oh dear ! Long story short eventually I get to speak to a human being who asks not unreasonable “where is it?”. I say not unreasonably (or so I thought) OS reference SU 805 138.
 
“That’s no good to me I need more information than a map reference”. More information than a map reference!!! all confused

 
Man “what’s the name of the road?”
 
Me “Don’t know it’s a little country road”
 
Man “Are there any landmarks?”
 
Then we go through everything I can see on the OS map and eventually we come up with somewhere between East Marden and Wildings Wood (about a mile of road).
 
Me “I’ve got a map reference that will take you directly to it.”
 
Man “That’s no good map references don’t come up on my system”.
 
Me “ I can find it on your WSCC i map” (the council's walking map on their own web site) “Have you got a phone?”
 
I was trying to be helpful, and going to suggest that if he looked it up on the phone he could at least find the nearest place on his “system”. Unfortunately he took this as some kind of insult saying in a stroppy manor “yes thank you sir I do own a phone”
 
Anyway I left it at that but surely any system that is supposed to locate places should be able to take a grid reference. Even if they had taken it and put it on the eventual job sheet it would have saved the van searching a mile of road.

Brod

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Post by Paulmold Mon Aug 01, 2022 1:12 pm

I bet he could find it on what3words, suits the younger age group than proper map references.

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Post by Relaxez-Vous Mon Aug 01, 2022 1:26 pm

Could this website help you further-
https://www.fillthathole.org.uk/

My sympathies, I've stopped telling the Council when street lights are out, they want you to do it all online.

Years ago I was cycling home from work and came across a busy road junction where the traffic lights were stuck, all green from memory. From a phone box I phoned the Council telling them of the urgency, on reflection I think I phoned 999. They were more interested in asking me who I was, I put the phone down.
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Post by Peter Brown Mon Aug 01, 2022 2:31 pm

Paulmold wrote:I bet he could find it on what3words, suits the younger age group than proper map references.

It doesn't really as the words have to be spelled precisely.
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Post by Roopert Mon Aug 01, 2022 3:34 pm

I've had something similar - also when reporting a problem in West Sussex.  I can remember being asked for the postcode, and their operative didn't seem sympathetic when I told him that a hole in the road won't typically have a postcode! It's a system that may work Ok in the middle of a town, but doesn't work at all out in the open countryside.

Something that might help is to use streetmap.co.uk. If you use the "Move arrow" to point to the rough location on the road, and then click on "Click here to convert coordinates" it will open a new tab with that location in a number of different formats (e.g. Lat and Long, "nearest postcode", or the closest What3words, among others).

Of course that won't help a lot in a sparsely-populated area, because a postcode (for example) can cover several square miles if you're out in the sticks!
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Post by pstallwood Mon Aug 01, 2022 3:42 pm

You can report online at Kent CC. Get their map on the screen and click on the exact spot. They use OS maps.

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Post by RML Mon Aug 01, 2022 3:46 pm

No good deed goes unpunished 😁
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Post by Cymro Mon Aug 01, 2022 4:27 pm

There's a lamp post near our house. In one of the named storms, the lamp fitting fell off the top of the post; it was suspended about 8' above the pavement, partly by the vegetation which surrounds the post (which obscures the light in the summer) and partly by the cable.

So in February, I reported it to Cardiff County Council via its website, even sending a photo. I gave the lampost's reference number (on a plate screwed to the post) plus post code and road name.

In April, I phoned and got through to a human in the correct department. I explained the foregoing. I was thanked, and assured that the dangerous, hanging lamp would be fixed.

In June I spoke to another human in the department. She couldn't trace the lamp from the number, but - using google maps etc - we eventually located it on her system (where it had a different number). It would be dealt with by the emergency crew.

Today - still hanging in the vegetation.

Shame on them. It's dangerous, and has thrice been reported.

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Post by Dave 418 Mon Aug 01, 2022 5:35 pm

The councils must have spent a fortune having computer systems installed to report things and I don’t think most of them are used. Actually finding a council official out of an office is a rare thing these days.
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Post by Paulmold Mon Aug 01, 2022 5:40 pm

I have only once reported a street light as not working, it's at the end of my drive with my van less than foot behind it, so anyone acting suspiciously around it can be seen by anyone passing, so I like 'my' streetlight. It was repaired within 24 hours.

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Post by HJA Mon Aug 01, 2022 6:39 pm

Some lamp posts here are the responsibility of the county council, and some are the responsibility of the district council! Just adds to the fun!
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Post by groundhog Mon Aug 01, 2022 7:16 pm

Driving in British Columbia last year came across a hole in the road, easy to find. Someone had painted a big circle round it with the words "BIG * Inappropriate Word * HOLE" boldly painted across the road. 24 hours later it had been filled in.... snigger

*Inappropriate word indeed, Joseph and Mary rode on one! What's the world coming to!
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Post by Guest Wed Aug 10, 2022 5:05 pm

The 1.5 mile stretch of road from our local railway station up to the A12 bypass has at least 40 potholes as defined on the council web site mostly due to poorly applied top surfacing on what is a relatively new road.

Given that you can only report 1 defect at a time I am tempted to describe the entire length as a pothole.
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Post by babian Wed Aug 10, 2022 7:33 pm

Groundhog, that's what I would call a "pit hole", drives the other half mad but as Arthur Scargill would say, " it's a pit worth saving....not.
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Post by nnw49 Thu Aug 18, 2022 11:18 am

Many councils (I know Berks, Bucks and Oxon all do) use FixMyStreet.

There are apps available that give the precise location and you can upload photos and describe the problem - but you can also do it from the https://www.fixmystreet.com/ website by navigating to where the problem is.

Really easy way to report lots of Local Council issues from fly tipping, problems with lights to potholes.

(you can also see what other people are reporting too)
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