FixMyStreet Frequently Asked Questions
What is FixMyStreet?
- Is this a council website?
No, it isn't – but FixMyStreet does send your reports direct to your local council.
We also publish them online, so that others in the community can read, discuss, and offer advice where needed.
- Then who are you? And why are you doing this?
FixMyStreet is an independent website, built by the charity mySociety. We wanted to make it easier to report problems in your community, even if you don't know who those reports should go to.
So we made FixMyStreet. All you have to do is type in a postcode – or let the site locate you automatically – and describe your problem. Then we send your report to the people whose job it is to fix it.
FixMyStreet covers the whole of the UK. No matter where you are, the only thing you ever have to remember is our web address – FixMyStreet.com.
- Do councils read or act on FixMyStreet reports?
They certainly do. Reports sent through FixMyStreet go into the same council email inboxes as reports sent through by any other means.
Really smart councils integrate directly, so we can place report details directly into their systems, saving them time and money.
- How can I contact you?
You can use this form – but please see whether these FAQs answer your question first, because that saves your time and ours.
- Is there a FixMyStreet app?
If your phone isn't supported, try accessing FixMyStreet via your mobile browser – it should work well.
- How do I make a report?
- Start at the homepage and type in your postcode or a place name. Not sure where you are? Pick 'locate me automatically'.
- Put the pin in the map to show exactly where the problem is, and type in a description of the issue. Then send.
- Check your email inbox for our confirmation mail, click on the link, and job done.
- What can I report?
FixMyStreet is primarily for reporting things which are broken or dirty or damaged or dumped, and need fixing, cleaning or clearing, like graffiti, dog fouling, potholes or street lights that don't work.
- What shouldn't I report?
Urgent issues: For problems that might put people in immediate danger, like gas leaks or falling trees, please contact your council or the appropriate utility company or emergency service directly – by phone if possible.
We often route problem reports via cleansing services or highways maintenance departments, so using FixMyStreet for urgent matters may result in a delay in your report getting to the right department.
Potentially libellous content: We publish all FixMyStreet reports online, so please make sure you are not putting yourself at risk of committing libel.
Specifically, you should not implicate other people, as can often happen in reports of anti-social behaviour, animal cruelty, parking offences, criminal activity, etc. If you wish to make this kind of report, it is best to do it directly – you'll often find that your council has a hotline.
Non-physical things: For issues such as noise pollution, barking dogs, fires, missing wheelie bins or missed rubbish collections, proposals for speed bumps or pedestrian crossings, or complaining about the council itself, please contact the council directly.
- Are reports public?
Yes they are: when you submit your report, we send it to the council, and we also publish it on the website. Your council will respond directly to you, and from that point on, your correspondence is one-to-one.
For that reason, we suggest that you don't include personal details such as addresses and phone numbers until you are in direct communication.
- Why are reports public?
Putting your reports online has several benefits. Others can quickly see what has already been reported, so it prevents the council from having to deal with duplicates.
It also creates a snapshot for local communities, so it's easy to see what the common problems are in a given area, and how quickly they get fixed. Other local residents can browse, read and comment on problems – and perhaps even offer a solution.
- Why do I have to give my name and an email address?
For a few reasons: firstly, we need your email address so that the council can get back to you.
Also, messages sent via FixMyStreet go into council systems. In most cases a full name is a mandatory field, and your report may be rejected without it.
Finally, we find that when users are asked to provide contact details, the tone of their correspondence tends to be more constructive and less abusive.
We don't publish your email address, and you can opt to submit your report anonymously – just uncheck the 'show my name publicly' box on submission. This will mean that your name is not displayed on the FixMyStreet website, although it is still sent to the council.
Accounts and alerts
- Do I need to register with FixMyStreet to use it?
No – you can send a report without registering. When you submit your report, we'll send you an email with a confirmation link.
If you use FixMyStreet a lot, you can avoid this step by creating an account. Once you've signed in, your reports will be sent as soon as you click 'submit'.
You'll also be able to see all previous reports you've made on one page.
- How do I register?
Visit https://www.fixmystreet.com/auth and choose 'No, let me sign in by email'. You can choose a password at that point.
- I've forgotten my password/I want to change my password
As above – visit https://www.fixmystreet.com/auth and choose 'No, let me sign in by email' - then put your new password in the box.
- I want to change my email address
Please contact us, giving both your old address and your new one, and we will do it for you.
- What are alerts?
FixMyStreet lets you sign up to receive an email every time someone reports a problem in your chosen area – visit https://www.fixmystreet.com/alert to see what's available. This is a free service.
- I want to stop receiving alerts
There is an unsubscribe link at the end of every alert email – please click on this and you'll be immediately unsubscribed.
When things don't go as planned
- The site isn't working
First, check your internet connection is ok. You may also like to check our Twitter feed, where we announce any known issues or downtime.
If there are no problems at your end or ours, please wait a few minutes, and then try again.
If you still can't get things to work, drop us a line.
Please include the wording of any error message you see displayed, which browser you are using (eg Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari), whether you're on a desktop or mobile computer, and anything else that might be relevant.
- FixMyStreet doesn't recognise my postcode
Our postcode data comes from Ordnance Survey. If you have a relatively new postcode, it may not yet be reflected on OS, and therefore on FixMyStreet.
It's ok though, you can still use the site: just enter a nearby place name, street name or let the site locate you automatically, instead. You can use the pan and zoom controls at the top right hand corner of the screen to zero in on the precise location.
- My street isn't on your map
FixMyStreet's default maps are from Ordnance Survey, so updates to our maps happen when OS refresh their own data.
You may like to try the OpenStreetMap version of FixMyStreet, which can be found at http://osm.fixmystreet.com/ – it has exactly the same functionality, but displays OSM maps.
If you still can't see the street you want to make a report on, your best bet is to describe the problem location in as much detail as possible, as well as using the map to pinpoint it.
Ordnance Survey will accept requests for amendments to their maps: contact them on firstname.lastname@example.org or via the post to Ordnance Survey, Adanac Drive, Southampton, SO16 0AS or telephone 08456 05 05 05.
- There are too many pins on the map; I can't make a report
Use the buttons at the bottom right of the screen – 'hide pins', or 'hide old pins', to clear the map.
- There's no category for what I want to report
The categories on FixMyStreet are set by each individual council, and reflect the problems that they are able to deal with.
There is almost always an 'other' option, but if your problem doesn't fit neatly into any of the given categories, please consider whether FixMyStreet is the appropriate place to report it (see "What can I report?", above).
- I haven't received a confirmation email
Please check your spam folder – this is the most common reason that confirmation emails cannot be found.
Unfortunately, it is hard for us to avoid from our end, but by adding us to your email whitelist, you will prevent this happening in future.
- You sent my report to the wrong place
Please check that you placed your pin correctly, and chose the right category for your report. If your problem is very near a council boundary, it is easy to place the pin on the wrong side of it by mistake. Similarly, choosing the wrong category can mean that your report is sent to one council when it should have gone to another.
At the moment, FixMyStreet does not send reports to the Highways Agency, but we are working on that.
If the above two paragraphs do not apply, please drop us a line and we'll try to get to the bottom of why your report has been misrouted. Please include the URL (web address) of your FixMyStreet report.
- I want to update my report
If you've already submitted your report, but now you need to send further information to your council, you should wait until they reply to you, and then respond to their communication directly.
You can also leave an update on your FixMyStreet report page, but note that updates are not forwarded to the council. They are intended as a place for residents to discuss local problems and offer advice or support.
With this in mind, you may wish to both update your report on the site, and contact your council via email.
- I want to edit my report
It's not possible to edit a report once it has been sent to the council. However, if you have a good reason for editing the text on the website (for example, you have included your phone number by mistake, or you intended your report to be anonymous) contact us and we will edit it for you.
Please include the URL (web address) of your FixMyStreet report when you contact us.
Note that edits on the site are not sent to the council, so if your edit is vital to the problem being fixed, please respond to your council when they reply to your initial report.
We cannot alter the position of a pin once it has been placed.
- I do not wish to make a public report
All reports made through FixMyStreet are published online. Reports can be submitted anonymously: just check the box when you fill in the form. Note that the body of your report will still appear on the FixMyStreet website, but without your name attached to it, and that your name will still be sent to the council.
If your report contains potentially sensitive material, such as names or addresses, we suggest that you do not include these until the council has replied to you directly and you are in one-to-one contact.
If your report is not suitable for publication, you should contact your council directly, via the contact details given on their own website.
- I've seen an inappropriate report/comment
There's a 'report abuse' button at the foot of every FixMyStreet report. Please click on this and we'll take a look as soon as we can.
- My problem hasn't been fixed, what do I do now?
FixMyStreet is great for reporting problems, but we don't fix them – your council oversees that.
If you'd like to chase your council, try replying to their most recent correspondence to you – or if you only have an auto-response, you may be able to find further contact details there.
If you still have no joy, we suggest starting a new FixMyStreet report. You may also like to use another useful mySociety website, WriteToThem.com, to contact your local councillors and ask them to help.
- Someone has marked my problem was fixed, but it isn't
As the owner of your report on FixMyStreet, you can change its status back to 'not fixed' at any time. Go to your report's web page and check the box under 'update'.
- My report is old and my problem has been fixed. Can I now delete it?
We currently have a policy of retaining all FixMyStreet reports: we believe they contribute a useful historic picture of communities across the country. They've even been used in academic research, to study, for example, what the common problems are in an area, or how potholes are distributed across the country.
As new reports are made, older ones drop off the first page for any given area, and are less likely to be discovered by those visiting the site.
- Where do you send FixMyStreet reports?
Drop us a line, and we'll send you a list of the categories we hold for your council, and the email addresses we have for each of them.
We are happy to make any changes that you require. We can also add or remove categories if you wish.
- How do we reply to a FixMyStreet report?
FixMyStreet reports usually come by email. If you reply to the email in your normal way, your response will go directly into the user's inbox.
Your reply is not published on the FixMyStreet website (unless you are a FixMyStreet for Councils customer who has chosen this option – see 'Can FixMyStreet connect directly with council systems?', below).
- Our council already has its own reporting system – we don't also need to be on FixMyStreet
FixMyStreet is designed to work in tandem with council offerings. We do not intend to replace them, and we believe that there's a place for both systems.
Your residents should be able to make reports wherever they choose. That might well be on the council website. It might equally be via Twitter, Facebook, or on FixMyStreet.
Many residents prefer FixMyStreet because it's easy to find – they don't have to navigate through a council website to find it. Nor do they have to know which council website they should be looking at. And we've made FixMyStreet about as easy to use as possible.
- FixMyStreet does not include all the data we need in its reports
Please get in touch and let us know what is missing.
FixMyStreet routinely includes the following information in its reports:
- User's name, email address, and, if given, phone number
- Report category [you, the council, may dictate these]
- Report title and description
- Easting & northing, latitude & longitude
- Nearest road to the pin placed on the map (automatically generated by Bing Maps)
- Nearest postcode to the pin placed on the map (automatically generated)
- Can FixMyStreet connect directly with council systems?
Yes – and we will do so for free, if you adhere to the Open 311 standard. Find out more here.
- FixMyStreet is better than our own reporting system
Then why not replace it with FixMyStreet? We now offer a complete fault-reporting solution for councils, that integrates with your own website.
It has all the benefits of FixMyStreet's focus on usability, and is a robust, economical, cloud-based option.
Feedback and ideas
- FixMyStreet really works
Good, we are glad to hear it! It is always heartening to know that the site is working for people.
If you'd like to show your appreciation, why not make a donation to help us keep running? Or, if you can't spare anything just at the moment, you can still help us out, just by spreading the word. Tell your friends, write to the local newspaper, put a message up in your library. It all helps.
- I'd like to make a FixMyStreet for my own country or town
FixMyStreet runs on open-source code, so that's fine. Read more here.
- I want to suggest an improvement
- I've got an idea for a site
We're happy to hear it – although, note that our parent organisation, mySociety, tends to have its priorities mapped out for the foreseeable future and we're unlikely to be able to build it for you.
FixMyStreet code is open source, so you are more than welcome to have a play around with it.
If you lack technical skills, why not post your idea on the mySociety mailing list? It's full of people with a shared enthusiasm for this kind of thing, and if you capture someone's imagination, they may be happy to collaborate.