Photos and feature by Stella of HOL
(Thanks to Rob Topliss for the photo of Kevin Partyka)


  Introduction Phase 1 Phase 2 Phase 3  


Left photo shows the Chairman of the Norfolk County Council with Henry Head of Norfolk Lavender and the
Right photo shows the Chairman of the Norfolk County Council with Les Laws (a past Chairman of Heacham Parish Council 1996-1999,
who began the official campaign for improvements to the Lavender Junction by carrying out traffic surveys).
Middle photo shows Kevin Partyka - a staunch participant of the "Free the Heacham 500 Campaign".

Just before lunch on Tuesday, 22 April 2008, the Chairman of Norfolk County Council Michael Cartiss and the Cabinet Member for Planning & Transportation, Adrian Gunson joined representatives of Heacham Parish Council and those of the contractors (May Gurney and Mott MacDonald) to mark Heacham's achievement of freedom and safety thanks to the 750,000 A149 improvements at the junction of Norfolk Lavender.  

The new traffic lights and other improvements have removed an accident site that has chalked up nine personal injury accidents over a five year period and have also freed Heacham residents from the battle to travel in and out of the village during the summer holiday season when up to 17,000 vehicles a day pass by on the A149.

This project is particularly remarkable since the Heacham traffic lights are greener than almost any others in the UK, thanks to a ground-breaking "Waste Neutral" approach adopted during the 15-week construction which also included drainage improvements and resurfacing work.  The May Gurney and Mott MacDonald team were available to explain the manner in which the "Waste Neutral" approach assists in the reduction of waste and control costs as well as reducing the projects carbon footprint.  Key features of the junction improvements included pedestrian crossing facilities, controlled access to a private coach parking area, the latest "MOVA" technology to ensure optimum signal timings and CCTV to aid traffic monitoring at the County Council's traffic control centre.

Adrian Gunson, Cabinet Member for Planning & Transportation, said:

"The new traffic lights will make life much easier and safer for local people during the summer season and also for visitors to Norfolk Lavender.  There was considerable discussion about whether traffic lights or a roundabout would be better.  In the end it was considered that traffic lights would be better for people trying to get on to or across the A149 from Heacham.

I am delighted that the scheme has been used to trial the "Waste Neutral" approach to construction.  This means that as much material as possible has been re-used without ever leaving the site, cutting down on transport and waste disposal costs, and reducing the impact on the environment.

This approach is a natural extension of what has been happening on road schemes all over Norfolk, where great strides have been made in the re-use of materials."

Henry Head of Norfolk Lavender addressed the gathering to compliment the contractors on the smooth implementation of the project and for the way they worked in co-operation with Norfolk Lavender.

Heacham Parish Council Chairman, Julian Geraghty said:

"The Parish Council are very pleased with the project, it has ticked all the boxes as far as Heacham's requirements go. It has been a long time coming, but worth the wait."

Above  (left to right) - Frank Gower (Project Foreman - May Gurney), Adrian Gunson (Norfolk County Council - Cabinet Member for Planning & Transportation), Michael Carttis (Chairman of Norfolk County Council)

Amongst the group above are Michael Carttiss (Chairman of Norfolk County Council), Rosalie Montbiot (Borough Councillor), Colin Rope (Project Designer - Mott MacDonald), Henry Head (Norfolk Lavender)

Above  - Members of the contracting team

All enquiries Heacham Parish Council - The Clerk - 01485 572142

Click here to see report of first demonstration held in August 2005
Click here to see report of second demonstration held in May 2006
Click here to see report of third demonstration held in September 2006