Happy birthday, Travel Somerset!

Somerset County Council’s improved traffic and travel service has proven a hit with both the public and professionals as it celebrates its first birthday.

The mobile-friendly www.travelsomerset.co.uk website was launched in August 2016 to provide reliable travel updates and roadworks information. It is accompanied by the @TravelSomerset Twitter account which live tweets alerts to its 2,750 followers and also provides a platform for the public to flag up any problems.

In the first year more than 100,000 people have accessed the website and viewed more than 450,000 pages to stay up to date.

Travel Somerset has also been rated independently as part of Socitm’s Better Connected survey, which reviews and compares council websites. It tested the roadworks information on the site in March using a number of criteria, ranging from how easy it was to find information to whether the site works on mobiles.

The verdict – a maximum four stars out of four. This is a vast improvement from when roadworks information was last tested in 2014 when Somerset failed to score.

Cllr John Woodman, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, said: “Travel Somerset was set up to provide a more reliable way for people to find out exactly what is happening on our roads.

“It’s always been a challenge to keep the public up to date with more than 16,000 roadworks a year, not to mention the countless accidents and incidents that happen every day.

“By putting all the information in one place online and using Twitter we’ve been able to really help drivers make informed choices about how and when is best to travel.

“It’s been a fantastic success – there’s always room for improvement but we know from feedback that people are finding the service incredibly useful.”

Some of the positive tweets from @TravelSomerset followers include:

  • Just discovered @TravelSomerset well worth following if you are in #somerset for traffic updates
  • Who pays @TravelSomerset?? Because pay them more #lifesavers
  • You guys do such a great job! Thank you & Merry Christmas all
  • Thanks for the info – great service
  • You’re welcome. Ever happy to recommend reliable, up-to-date, accounts. Keep up all the good #travel work you & others do

The www.travelsomerset.co.uk website has been improved and updated since its launch and key functions now include:

  • Live traffic and travel updates
  • Interactive roadworks map with additional focus on key schemes
  • Report road problems, such as potholes
  • Winter gritting maps
  • Temporary special pages for individual roadworks schemes, events or bad weather
  • Links to bus timetables, journey planners and bus pass information
  • Details of community transport options in Somerset
  • Live departure boards for local train stations
  • Flight details for local airports
  • Cycling advice and safety tips
  • Walking guides
  • Travel change calculator

If you spot a problem which is not being reported, you can tweet the team directly via the @TravelSomerset account so they can check it out and help share with others. Find out more about how Travel Somerset works at www.travelsomerset.co.uk/about.