LINKwithlove

10 cool tools

59 free twitter tools

The internet in real time

Social media policy - A big list

61 best social media tools for small business

Digital engagement cookbook

Why presentations suck

How a comms team could look in 2014

CIPR guide to social media monitoring

10 reasons why councils should embrace Facebook

7 creative Twitter campaigns

Google analytics quick guide

11 tips for more effective online surveys

10 skills the PR pro of 2022 must have

What does it mean to be human in social media?

Digital content standards guide

how to do twitter

twitter sizes and dimensions cheat sheet

50 top tools for social media monitoring

Introducing Yammer to your org

10 reasons to quit your job in 2013

105 Twitter apps for comms people

18 free tools for pr and comms people

the public leader's dilemma: how to become a social organisation

the 3 w's of twitter

social media infographic flowchart

creating digital content for comms

social media integration survey results

28 brilliant social media resources from the University of Warwick

the public are much more reasonable than the media

glasto for geeks

the next web of open, linked data (youtube)

what's an unconference?

top twitter analytics tools

taking your slide deck to the next level

u.s. army social media handbook is here

cipr supports prsa 'pr defined' initiative

how to improve local government communications

econsultancy state of social media report 2011

research: twitter drives more traffic to press releases than facebook

how to respond to criticism online

using digital channels effectively

12 Commandments for Local Government News

search for good stuff ...

« how social media fits into higher education comms | Main | once upon a time... »
Tuesday
Apr242012

qr codes and big signs to stop cars driving into the sea 

By Lindsay Green

The Holy Island of Lindisfarne, just off the North East coast is beautiful.  

It has been the setting for movies, TV shows and is a major religious destination for thousands of tourists heading to Northumberland every summer.  

It has also been causing the council a huge headache for some time.

Why?  Well, it seems that many people don’t associate the word 'island' with a piece of land surrounded by water, and instead try to drive straight into the North Sea without thinking about the consequences.  

HolyIsland is a tidal island with a causeway crossing that is only accessible when the tide is out. These times are clearly displayed but despite this 27 people were rescued from the causeway last summer alone.  The consequence? Endangered lives, cars written off, call outs to the RNLI and rescue helicopters - with each rescue costing around £1,200.

Safe crossing times, usually lasting between 5-9 hours twice a day, are published on both sides of the causeway, on the county council website and in local newspapers on a weekly basis, yet the message still isn't getting across – "do not cross outside these times".

Looking for new solutions, we've just completed a trial over Easter that incorporates new technology and some older technology (an even bigger sign!) The two week trail used Variable Messaging Signs conspicuously placed to remind visitors to check the tide tables.   QR codes were developed and provided at various locations around the island (including the car parks) so that smartphone users could access the safe crossing times for the day at a scan of a code.  An app is also being developed to complement the online information

The two week trial was completed over Easter when visitor numbers would be high to gauge impact and decide if the technology, which some Islanders had concerns about, would be worth installing permanently. The trial appears to have been a success – the variable message signs were noticed by 87 of the 89 people interviewed on the island during the trial with 81 saying they believed them to be an effective warning sign for visitors.

It is more difficult to evaluate the QR codes but in time, as their use as a marketing tool becomes more popular, we hope it will serve as an instant reminder that the tide times need to be adhered to and to give a real time warning that the risk is imminent if you try cutting it fine.

There will always be those people who approach 4 or 5 inches of water on a causeway and weigh up the options  and wonder ‘another night on the island or risk it for a biscuit’ before deciding to go for it.  There will always be those people who think ‘a little bit of sea water? no problem, my car can handle this’ and just drive straight into the North Sea.  We know that.  But by using the new technology on offer, the council hopes to significantly reduce the number of people who ever get to that point.

Lindsay Green is a communications officer at Northumberland County Council

Picture credit

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments (1)

the person who created this post was a big thank you man .. for sharing with us.

May 16, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermot hove

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>