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Street Manager and the Gazetteer

First blog by Marissa Hayes, NSG Custodian at East Sussex Highways, on Street Manager and the Gazetteer dated 23 June 2020.

As Street Gazetteer Custodian for East Sussex Highways, I’ve taken a keen interest in Street Manager from the outset. It seems a good time to report on the last Governance Group session held on Teams with the DfT, Street-Manager-Man Paul Chandler and the self-selected reps from Highway Authorities, Utilities and Contractors… Nothing rude about saying self-selected at all – each of us applied for a place on the Group way back in January and we were all accepted – no-one was turned away! We come from far and wide and have never met as a group in person as Lockdown occurred before our planned get together. Nevertheless over the 4 meetings since March, we have come together well. The Governance Group was formed to advise the project on next steps and priorities over the life of the agile project: we represent our Highway Authority colleagues and each utility represents its sector.

It’s been quite a learning curve since my first interactions with SM via the dedicated Slack Channel and at the Brighton Roadshow in Autumn 2019 – that seems a very distant memory! I knew the prospects of having the Gazetteer and all the Additional Street Data on show was hugely exciting but open to many pitfalls!  

Street Manager continues to be developed as an Agile product – the Streetworks industry’s central resource for all works, inspections, activities, and restrictions. As they say “it is transforming the planning, management and communication of streetworks. Using open data and intelligent services, its aim is to minimise disruption and improve journeys”. It will continue to be developed and over the coming years in phases and user feedback has and will continue to be essential in driving improvements and fixes.

In the time since Sandbox went live in November 2019, I’ve been asking questions and prodding the DfT for improvements and to be honest in the great scheme of things, the Gazetteer has been quite a way down the list and I have been a fairly solitary voice – it’s one of the reasons I put myself forward for the Governance Group.  I’ve managed to unpick the mis-representation of the Traffic Sensitive Street data and it appears that some 52,000 streets are missing their TSS records because SM wrote a code to remove those without description text. As many of you will know this is an essential measure for planning any streetworks; for timings, conditions, and for charges.. Sadly, it appears that SM will be going live with these errors in place and the first 2 weeks of July will be even more complicated for both promotors and utilities. 

This is just the start! If you happen to have a look at Street Manager, then you will see that ASD could still be so much clearer – believe me it has come a long way in a short time! The use of geometry to indicate the split between a part public / private street will come but it will need many users’ voices to be heard to push this up the schedule.

I continue to collate ideas and comments for improvements and enhancements but the best way to get your ideas logged is for you and colleagues to use the Service Desk. The group is pushing hard to have a far more transparent way of handing these tickets – to avoid duplication, to save time and to get a clear measure on the number of users each issue is affecting.  The service desk can be found at https://streetmanager.atlassian.net/servicedesk/customer/user/login 

And finally – thank you to all those who responded to the short survey issued via GeoPlace and apologies to those whom I confused with my questions! The findings confirmed my concerns that Street Manager remains a mystery to many colleagues in the custodian world and I would continue to urge you to gain access at least to see how the gazetteer looks.

More on that next time….

Marisa's seconf blog is available at https://www.jaguk.org/news/-/asset_publisher/r9fiYDhGL2gp/content/street-manager-a-month-in