Devon highways team to star on Twitter

07/09/2012
Highways Reporters

Devon County Council's highways department and local contractor South West Highways will reveal more about their daily work across the county in a marathon 24 hour Twitter experiment on Monday.

The live trial in the use of social media will take place between 7am on Monday 10 September and 7am on Tuesday 11 September and will be managed by staff at the County Highways Operations Control Centre at County Hall in Exeter.

Regular Tweets from @DevonRoads will aim to show residents the wide range of planned and emergency activity undertaken on a typical day by engineers, road gangs, parish lengthsmen, traffic specialists and emergency response teams on behalf of the people of Devon.

They will also use the hashtag #devoninaday and encourage other Twitter users to share what they are doing in Devon and how they enjoy or travel around the County.

The experiment is part of an attempt by the council to better understand and make use of social media to improve the way it communicates with the public and communities.

Councillor Stuart Hughes said: “This is not a gimmick or about blowing our own trumpet.

“Although we hope people will enjoy hearing about what the Council Highways team gets up to on an average day, there is a very serious purpose behind this exercise.

“More and more people now have a mobile phone with internet access and regularly use social media as a means of instant communication.

“We believe social media could be a really useful way of communicating during a future emergency situation to help keep people well informed and give important safety advice in real time.

“It’s clear from incidents such as the recent floods that affected some of our local communities so badly how valuable this channel could be to reach people quickly with accurate and trusted information.

“By doing this exercise we hope to learn some vital lessons about how we can make the best use of social media to improve the way we engage and communicate with the public.”

You can stay up to date or get involved with the Twitter challenge by either following @DevonRoads on Twitter (www.twitter.com/DevonRoads) or via the hashtag #devoninaday
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