Podium position three years in a row for Norfolk in highways and transport survey

01 November 2016

An independent survey of Norfolk residents has resulted in Norfolk County Council being ranked third out of 28 similar councils for satisfaction with highways and transport services. This is the third year in a row that Norfolk has been in the top three after being placed second last year and third in 2014.

The National Highways and Transport Network Survey is carried out annually by Ipsos MORI. For the 2016 survey nearly 3,300 Norfolk residents, chosen at random, were asked to rate a range of highway and transportation services, including public transport, walking and cycling, congestion, road safety and road maintenance.

Martin Wilby, Chairman of the Environment, Transport and Development Committee, said: “It’s rare that we are able to directly compare opinions about our work with similar councils elsewhere in the country so it heartening to hear that we rank so highly.

“Of course there’s always room for improvement so we will be looking closely at the results to see where we could do better. Budgets are tight so we can’t do everything we would want to however one thing I hope people will notice next year is the change in our verge cutting policy. We didn’t score so highly on maintenance of highway vegetation and drainage in the survey this year but following the vote by members earlier this month we will go back to cutting all our rural verges twice a year.

“And with the first large phase of the £10.3 million surface water drainage scheme in the Greater Norwich area nearing completion we should see some of those much needed improvements in place by the end of this year.”

One of the biggest increases in satisfaction in the survey was for street lighting which saw the authority move from 18th to 9th position in the rankings. This may be the result of the lighting improvements being carried out by the county council’s contractors, Amey, which include the greater provision of LED lighting.

Altogether 106 local authorities signed up for the 2016 survey. Out of the 28 county councils and larger unitary authorities in the peer group, Norfolk ranked:
Overall – 3rd
Traffic management – 3rd
Condition of highways – 5th
Local bus services – 5th
Street lighting – 9th
Road safety education – 10th
Satisfaction with public rights of way – 25th

Notes for editors
The National Highways and Transport Network Survey was carried out during June, July and August 2016.

The top three county/larger unitary councils in 2016 are:
1. Nottinghamshire County Council
2. Derbyshire County Council
3. Norfolk County Council

On the 14 October in response to the vigorous growth of vegetation on highway verges over the late spring and summer, members at the Environment, Development and Transport Committee, reviewed the council council’s cutting arrangements for rural highway verges. From next year these will receive two continuous cuts. This is a return to the authority’s previous practice, rather than one and an intermittent cut for visibility and bends delivered this year.

The Greater Norwich surface water drainage scheme jointly funded Department for Transport (DfT) (£9.1m) and Norfolk County Council (£1.2m). It is a 3-year project completing at the end of 2017-18.

For political comment
Cllr Martin Wilby (Conservative) Chairman of the Environment, Development and Transport Committee, on 07920 286618 or 01379 741504
Cllr Jonathon Childs (UKIP) Vice Chair of the Environment, Development and Transport Committee, on 07899 037719 - text only
Cllr Terry Jermy (Labour) on 07742 157967
Cllr John Timewell (Liberal Democrat), on 07717 881857
Cllr Andrew Boswell (Green) on 07787 127881

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