Phone app plan for drivers to report pot-holes in Leicestershire
Highways bosses are to develop a "pot-hole app" for drivers to report damage to roads.
Leicestershire County Council wants motorists with smartphones to be able to take a picture of road defects which would then, at the press of a button, be sent directly to engineers.
Workmen would be able to use details from the phones' mapping software to locate where the image was taken and go to fix it.
County Hall's deputy leader and IT spokesman Byron Rhodes said: "In a couple of years, I hope we will have what would be a Leicestershire County Council pot-hole app."
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"More people are getting i-Phones or other smartphones and we could use that to better gauge the state of the roads.
"We are perhaps a few years away from it because I don't think there is an advanced enough phone mapping system. However, there will be."
Coun Rhodes said the move would save the authority cash, as it looks to cut its budgets by £79 million over the next four years, by allowing a reduction in the number of call handlers.
He said: "The facility would cut out the middleman and allow members of the public to communicate direct with the people doing the repairs.
"Once a pot-hole is reported, there would be a system that sends messages back to tell them about the progress of the repair."
Coun Rhodes said improvements to phone cameras would allow better quality images to help workmen assess what level of repair was needed.
He said: "The images would give them an idea of the materials they would need for the job."
Driver Paul Jones, 41, from Loughborough, said: "If they can make the app simple and not fiddly I think people would use it.
"They would probably be inundated with reports because there are so many holes."
Coun Rhodes admitted many roads were "in a bad way" but said the Government had offered the council £3 million for highway repairs next year.
He said: "I think we are going to need every penny of that, especially if we get more icy conditions."
According to latest figures, the county council repaired more than 4,100 defects on its 2,575 miles of roads between April and December 2012.
To report damage on Leicestershire roads, call 0116 305 0001.