Parish Partnership Scheme
Each year local councils are invited to submit bids for highway improvement schemes. For 2023/24 the fund was £345,000 with Norfolk County Council funding 50% of the cost of successful bids. With a very welcome additional contribution of £40,556 in 2023/24 from Safety Camera Partnership (Norfolk and Suffolk Constabularies) towards road speed activated signs (subject to confirmation of bid). Town and parish councils contribute the balance.
In July 2016 the scope of the scheme was extended to include unparished wards in Kings Lynn, Norwich and Great Yarmouth. Unparished wards can either become a formal parish council (with its own funding resources), or submit bids via their elected County Council member. Bids from unparished wards may be driven by a local pressure/campaign group who would need to appoint a named representative. They would also need to consult with and submit any bid via their local County Council member. There is an upper limit on Norfolk County Council funding support of £25,000.
Deadline for submissions
The new letters of invitation to bid for 2024/25 will be sent out to Parish Clerks in June 2023.
The deadline for submissions for 2024/25 is 8 December 2023.
Further information or advice
We've provided answers to the most frequently asked questions about the schemes we support below.
If you need further information on the bid process you can email the Programme Engineer at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01603 228905.
For advice on the scheme practicalities or likely costs, contact your local highway engineer.
Information about the schemes and projects covered
Electric vehicle charging points
In the first instance we would expect Parish/Town Councils to investigate available grants, for more information please email email@example.com.
A website containing useful information is currently being developed and will be updated with new information regularly. We will be contacting Parish/Town Councils when this available.
Vehicle Activated Signs (VAS) - fixed
These must be purchased from our specialist sub-contractor Amey, who can give you an initial quote. Email enquiries to Francesca.Birkenhead@amey.co.uk and copy in Norfolk Street Lighting at NSL@amey.co.uk, or call 01508 557868.
For a single sign, typical costs range from £6,000 (if an existing power supply is readily available) to £6,500 (if a solar powered supply is needed). The costs includes a sum for future maintenance.
The parish contribution would be around £3,000 to £3,250.
We'd then need to agree a suitable and safe location with you.
Speed Awareness Message (SAM2)
A mobile Speed Awareness Message (SAM2) flashes up vehicle speeds and a warning to 'slow down' if they are exceeding the limit. This helps to raise speed awareness among drivers.
The unit cost is between £4,000 and £5,000 and our suggested supplier is Westcotec.
The parish council would own the unit and assume responsibility for future maintenance but you can agree to share the sign between neighbouring parishes to minimise the cost.
Suitable locations would have to be agreed with your local highway engineer, then both the engineer and the parish sign a Memorandum of Understanding to cover the use of the sign and the exact locations.
The supplier of the sign(s) will provide instructions on how to set up and re-position the units.
Suppliers of SAM2 units
We recommend bidders use Wescotec as they are an approved sub-contractor to our streetlighting contractor, Amey, and therefore part of our market-tested supply chain. They also have a good track record in terms of supplying reliable value for money units and post-sales customer care.
Bidders do not have to use Wescotec, however, if you want to consider an alternative, cheaper supplier we (as joint funder) need to be satisfied first that the unit is being supplied on exactly the same basis, in which case the following criteria must be satisfied:
- Evidence of conformity with relevant, required standards; EN BS 12966 for the unit, and TRSGD for the sign face (which will require an associated "Declaration of conformity").
- Total weight of unit as mounted with batteries, and confirmation that the proposed support pole is capable of withstanding relevant dead and wind loading. For illuminated sign poles, permission will be required from Norfolk County Councils streetlighting contractor, Amey. For non-illuminated posts permission will be required from our Highway Area office.
- Delivery and installation of units included.
- Relevant training for the Parish Council included, to ensure they are able to move and mount units safely as per the agreed "Memorandum of understanding". This will require evidencing. appropriate insurance to work on the public highway and sufficient third party liability insurance.
Whilst some suppliers may offer cheaper units, they may not be offering an equivalent package and service.
20mph signs with flashing warning lights outside schools (WigWags)
We will accept bids for part-time advisory 20mph signs with flashing warning lights outside schools.
These must be purchased from our specialist sub-contractor Amey, who can give you an initial quote. Email enquiries to Norfolk Street Lighting at NSL@amey.co.uk and copy in Francesca.Birkenhead@amey.co.uk, or call 01508 557868.
We trialled these in 2008/9 and generally had a favourable community response, with some moderate reductions in average speeds during peak times.
The Council supports the aspiration for part-time 20mph speed limits outside each school in Norfolk but it would cost the Council in the region of £3.75 million to wholly fund it.
These signs cannot be enforced by the police.
School Keep Clear markings
'School Keep Clear' markings, within the scope of Parish Partnerships, could be included where these are supported by the relevant school.
This will complement the recent addition of flashing, advisory 20mph signs at schools.
These markings will automatically be enforceable under new legislation. Depending on their location, however, it may not always be practicable for Civil Parking Enforcement officers to enforce them, and this may happen only where it is operationally convenient to do so (for example when CPE officers are in the area engaged on other enforcement work).
Trod footway (low-cost footpath)
A trod path is a way of providing a low-cost footpath by using unbound material instead of asphalt while still remaining fit for purpose.
It can provide an aesthetically acceptable solution in sensitive rural settings and is intended to provide a less expensive option over a muddy track or grass verge, typically providing a level surface, greater width and improved drainage.
Your highway engineer will be able to advise you on the practicalities and likely cost of any scheme.
Concessionary path agreement
If a footway can't be wholly accommodated on highway land, and if the landowner is in agreement, a concessionary path agreement can be signed. This will enable the Parish to obtain consent from the landowner for the construction of a trod on private land.
To ensure that all gateways meet required safety standards, we prefer village gateway installations to be purchased through and installed by Norfolk County Council.
Your local highway engineer will be able to supply you with costs and agree the locations of the gateways.
Other possible schemes that the parish may want to consider are
- Improved crossing facilities (including traffic islands)
- Posts/fencing/safety railing
- Improvements to public rights of way.
- Hard standing at bus stops
- Off highway schemes providing they are linked to the highway, where the maintenance will fall to the parish or town council.
- Improved road surfaces for community facilities eg village halls
- Bike racks
- Bus shelters/benches
Schemes should be self-contained (ie not require any other schemes or works to make them effective).
The parish would be responsible for the maintenance of the new item of street furniture.
What schemes will not be considered?
The following bids will not qualify:
- Minor traffic management changes such as speed limits or waiting restrictions or any Traffic Regulation Order
- Installation of any streetlighting
- Mirrors on the highway
- Quiet Lane zones