Road Maintenance Service Review - What We Learned
In August 2019, Council invited the community to review the service levels and response times for all road maintenance activities, including pothole repairs, grading, road inspections and more.
Using a variety of consultation methods, including face-to-face engagement sessions, online surveys and written submissions, we obtained a detailed and specific understanding of the community’s views on the current service levels as well as expectations for the future.
Here’s what we learned, how we gathered the data and what will happen next:
Overall, the community told us that we need to increase our investment in roads maintenance. Generally, the responses indicated a community expectation of faster response times and expanded service delivery.
- 61% said potholes should be repaired in less than a week, 23% said one week was satisfactory.
- 63% said unsealed road grading frequency should be greater than twice a year, 30% believe it should be twice a year.
- 82% said reported issues should be inspected within 5 days.
- 42% nominated ‘fixing isolated defects such as potholes/corrugations’ as top priority.
- 88% said we should expand use of alternative methods to expedite repairs.
- 37% said cyclic inspections on urban road should be carried out four times a year, 29% said more than four times a year.
- 38% said cyclic inspections on rural roads should be carried out more than four times a year.
The Consultation Process
To gather community feedback about Council’s road maintenance service, a variety of wide-ranging consultation was undertaken:
A community survey was made available online via Council’s website and in printed, hard copy format from 6 to 30 August, 2019.
The survey was widely promoted across across Council social media channels (resulting in 45,000 impressions and 1,400 clicks) as well on local radio and in print media.
Printed hard copies of the survey were made available at Council’s Customer Service Centres and disseminated directly to a number of community members and groups.
A total of 330 completed survey responses were received.
Targeted Community Engagement Sessions
- More than 80 people were invited to targeted community engagement session on 9 and 11 September 2019 in Drouin and Trafalgar respectively.
- Attendees included residents who made S223 budget submissions and residents who routinely interact with Council regarding road maintenance matters.
- Baw Baw Safe Freight Network was also specifically engaged to provide road maintenance feedback.
What Happens Next
The community has told us that we need to increase our investment in roads maintenance, and we’ve listened.
The findings of the community road maintenance survey has directly influenced the preparation of a new Road Maintenance Contract that is better in line with community expectations.
As a result of community feedback Council will increase its investment in road maintenance by $2.3 million annually including the development of new service levels that will reflect a more sustainable approach.
Council has increased investment as much as possible without impacting other essential Council services such as infrastructure development and maintenance, planning, and waste management.
Over coming weeks, Council will update the community on the new Roads Maintenance Contract and what the additional investment and service improvements will mean for the community.