A clever idea championed by Lismore City Council and developed by all northern rivers councils to create an online hub for road info during times of flood is fast becoming a model program across the state. Council is now releasing a third version of the website with even more information and services for motorists.
It started back in 2009 when Lismore City Council operated a flood helpline and was inundated by calls from people in neighbouring council areas who wanted to know if they could get home and didn’t know who to ask.
Corporate services manager Simon Adcock and IT manager Garth Hayhurst had heard the idea of a central website for road information bandied about by other local councils and decided it was time to act.
A funding application through the Natural Disaster Mitigation Program proved successful and with the green light from other northern rivers councils, they engaged a local programmer and the MyRoadInfo software began to take shape.
From road closures due to flash flooding to roadworks and delays caused by accidents, the website provides an easy, one-stop-shop where motorists can find road access information from their computer, phone or iPad.
‘We realised there was a genuine need for people to get from A to B, often across council boundaries, and have information that was timely and accurate at their fingertips,’ said Simon.
‘Each of the other local councils in the northern rivers came on board straight away – the level of cooperation is what really made it all possible.
‘Tenterfield signed up about 12 months ago so our MyRoadInfo site has grown to cover a really wide area. The idea has completely taken off – the program was licensed for use by mid north coast councils in April and we’re in negotiations with councils out west.’
The latest version of MyRoadInfo has now been launched. This will automatically update each MyRoadInfo site with road information from all councils as well as the RMS (formerly RTA) to provide a truly comprehensive service for motorists. This version also uses a single web address (www.myroadinfo.com.au) that will provide access to all MyRoadInfo sites.
Lismore City Council’s IT manager Garth Hayhurst said potentially the model could be used right around Australia to ensure safe travel in all types of weather.
‘Having the same web-based system across the country would make travel that much smoother for your average holidaymaker or tourist – you would always be looking at the same interface even though each site would be regionally managed,’ explained Garth.
‘Our idea was always to make the roads safer for drivers and I think we’ve achieved that. We all feel proud it’s something that was developed by councils right here in the northern rivers.’