Next steps for A149 safety improvements
14 March 2019
The next steps in a scheme that will see a range of safety improvements made to a section of the A149 in West Norfolk are set to get underway next week.
Councillors approved a scheme in January 2019 that would see crucial safety measures at a number of junctions on the stretch of the A149 between King’s Lynn and Heacham, and the speed limit reduced from 60 to 50mph on two sections of the road. These improvements will complement the installation of average speed cameras that are set to be installed by July on the road where there have been 51 accidents including five fatalities over the last six years*.
A four-week statutory consultation on the junction improvements and speed limit reductions starts next week and is the first step in the legal process that has to be followed before any scheme can be put in place.
This first consultation is a chance for statutory consultees such as local councillors, parish councils, and blue light services to give feedback. Their responses will be taken into account before a further four-week public consultation takes place from early May.
Cllr Martin Wilby, Chairman of the Environment, Development and Transport Committee, said: “I'm very pleased that a holistic view has been taken and confident that the proposals will bring safety improvements to a much greater length of the road than the original camera scheme alone would have done."
The A149 runs through a number of county council divisions. Speaking on behalf of local county councillors, Cllr Stuart Dark, County Councillor for Dersingham, said: “We knew of safety concerns that had been raised by people living on or near the A149 so when we were made aware of a planned safety camera scheme we were clear that we wanted a range of safety measures to be swiftly considered.
"This new improved scheme is comprehensive, is based on local knowledge and the latest data and includes vital speed limit reductions at key locations. The Lamsey Lane junction, which has seen a number of accidents over the years, wasn’t included in the original safety camera scheme so I’m pleased that this is one of the sites set to benefit from much needed extra safety measures.
"I would urge all the local councils and organisations who are invited to respond to this initial consultation to do so, as we want a scheme that works for local people and is effective at improving safety for all the users of the busy A149.”
Junction closures are suggested where Church Road and Double Lodges Road join the A149 and also the possible closure to vehicles of Station Road and Alma Road junctions at Snettisham. Also proposed are improvements to signage and road markings at Lamsey Lane, Heacham and two sections of the road A149 may see the speed limit cut from 60 to 50mph around Sandringham and Snettisham.
Responses to the public consultation will be taken into account in the design of schemes before any work begins. Depending on the outcome of the consultations work may be able to begin in winter 2019/20.
* On the stretch of the A149 from Knight’s Hill to Lamsey Lane there have been 51 personal injury accidents over the past six years, of which five were fatalities.
All the statutory consultees should receive an invitation to respond to the consultation on or before Friday 22 March.
In November 2015 the Safety Camera Partnership Operation Board agreed that the A149 should go into its programme of upcoming work. A scheme was developed and approved by the Road Casualty Reduction Partnership Board on 5 April 2017. The proposed scheme was shared with the local County Councillors and the local community on 6 March 2018 who raised a number of concerns. The scheme was paused whilst Norfolk County Council re-looked at the original data.
By June 2018 the county council had developed a new, improved scheme which made further recommendations to go beyond the installation of average speed cameras and look at potential junction improvements and possible speed limit changes.
On Friday 18 January 2019, Norfolk County Council’s Environment, Development and Transport Committee approved the Norfolk Camera Safety Partnership scheme to install average speed cameras along the road. Also approved was the reduction of the speed limit of the A149 to 50mph on two sections of the road and four junction improvement schemes.