Monday, 3 July 2017

Not another Manston Airport post

I should like to point out that this post isn’t about whether you are for or against any reopening of the airport but just whether you can read the consultation documents on the RiverOak website.

My take is that if you can’t actually read what they say they want to do and in some sense understand it then you can’t realistically comment in it.

I tried various combinations of tablet, pc, operating system and browser and if anyone has actually found something that the riveroak website works properly on than I would very much like to know what it is.

I kept this morning clear to read the documentation, that was four hours from 9 to 1 and during that time I wasn’t even able to open all of it.

In the end I sent the following email of to both pins and RiverOak 

“Issues completing the RSP Manston Consultation.

I have been attempting to read the documentation relating to the consultation provided on the website

In the first instance this looks like a normal and conventional website the first page of the consultation scrolls normally and the whole page is visible.

The first three links 1 2 and 3 have titles saying where they lead, consultation leaflet, feedback form and overview report, respectively. Going beyond this point either by clicking on the links or going down the page however is a confusing mass of badly published pages, repetitions and links without descriptive labels.

The first link leads to the consultation leaflet this is a four page leaflet which is presented as a series of 4 images of the leaflets pages, with the option (no clear link or label showing that this is necessary to make the page work properly) to open a pdf of the page in another tab. That is a searchable page of mixed images and text where the text is searchable and in some sense usable in terms responding to the consultation using normal itc skills.

There is no mobile version of the rsp website and using even this four page leaflet on anything other than a conventional laptop or desktop with a reasonable broadband signal is slow and difficult.

I write several websites one of which is a popular site local to Thanet, thanetonline and I can confirm from the statistics for this, see attached image 1.
Most local people use Chrome or IE operating in a Windows or Android, and have tested this using an android phone, tablet and windows desktop, with chrome and IE on the desktop.

The second link leads to this is a four page form which is presented as a series of 4 images of the form’s pages, with the option to open a pdf of the page in another tab. That is a searchable page of mixed images and text where the text is searchable. Where this mostly falls down is that users can’t fill this form in using the free and/or conventional software they would expect to find on their phone, tablet or pc. I think the web writer may expect the user to print it out, fill it in with a pen, scan it and send it back. My own feelings is that this form should be downloadable as text document, Word, Google Doc, etc that the user can download fill in and send back to RSP as an email attachment.  

The third link leads to this is a 25 page leaflet which is presented as a series of 25 images of the left half of leaflets pages with no option to scroll to the full page width, with the option (no clear link or label showing that this is necessary to make the page work properly) to download the pdf which shows the full page width.

To clarify this further, a 50 page document has been published as a webpage of 25 pages where only the left part of the page is visible in the browser, this would be equivalent to book where all of the pages with even numbers were printed and all of the pages with odd numbers left blank.

Added to this there is no obvious and clear instruction to make the right hand pages with odd numbers visible.

After this you come to a series of links to pages where the title has no relationship to the content, the first one is labelled “PEIR Volume 1 (Chapters 1 to 6)” this opens as this is a 185 page document which is presented as a series of 185 images of the left half of leaflets pages with no option to scroll to the full page width which varies from page to page and isn’t numbered in the conventional sense. This is downloadable as a pdf.

The really impossible area is when you get to the link called “04 – PEIR Volume 4 (Figures)” this takes you to which is a series of 98 pages and as some of them are of the left side of maps and plans it is evident they are partly obscured. The link at the top of the page which was probably intended to download a pdf doesn’t work and just opens another webpage part of which is obscured. 

I had similar results with the next link and have now given up trying to read the documents and written to you instead.

Obviously it should be possible to read the consultation documents using ordinary conventional tablets, phones and computers and until this is the case I don’t think the consultation period should have started.

There should also be some conventional linking of readable web pages allowing viewers to get to the key issues. The files I have been able to open are mixture of relevant information, great chunks of legislation, which should have been linked to and not pasted in, great chunks of other repetition, areas that are obscured because of being published in the wrong way.

I have been unable to find key information like the expected number of movements involving low flying over densely populated areas like Ramsgate and Herne Bay, which were the causes of the most contention when the airport was operational. 

I was also unable to find the noise contour mapping which was one of the most comprehensible and used aspects of the previous night flights debate.”
Having fought with the  “04 – PEIR Volume 4 (Figures)” page and decided that some computers may not recover properly from trying to open it here is an easier version

Sorry some of the pictures are in the wrong order 

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