West Norfolk parish councils invited to propose highways improvements

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Parish and town councils in west Norfolk are being invited to share the cost of small-scale highway improvements with Norfolk County Council after a repeat of this year’s successful Parish Partnerships initiative was announced on Thursday by Norfolk County Council.

Under the scheme, local councils and the County Council share the cost of small improvements that can make a big difference to their communities.

Ten communities in the west of the county are already benefitting from projects carried out this year, and Graham Plant, Cabinet Member for Planning and Transportation, announced that the County Council had earmarked £100,000 for a 2013/14 Parish Partnerships scheme.

Parish and town councils will be invited to put forward proposals which, if accepted, would be constructed in 2013/14.

This year, the most popular proposals have been ‘trods’ - loose finished roadside pathways that are cheaper and more appropriate in rural settings than asphalted pavements, yet still provide an easier and safer route for pedestrians.

County-wide, this year’s schemes include 16 trod pathways, a bus shelter, improved access at bus stops and to village amenities, pavement widening and improvements, a road centre island and markings, small areas of resurfacing, and various signs, including vehicle activated signs (VAS).

Walsoken benefitted from a completed scheme this year, getting a trod from Sparrowgate Road to join a footway at Argyll Gardens.

Graham Plant, cabinet member for Planning and Transportation, said: “The initiative has proved an outstanding success in delivering small-scale improvements that are a high priority for local communities.

“Parish and town councils know where such opportunities exist, and, at a time when money is extremely tight, the County Council can gain real value for money by working with local councils.

“I am delighted to announce the Parish Partnerships initiative will be repeated for 2013/14 and look forward to receiving another round of bids for assessment, with an announcement on successful bids in the spring.”

Norfolk County Council’s highway engineers will help local councils develop their proposals.