High Street plans to extend pedestrian area

A new £20m proposal to pedestrianise the Lincoln High Street from the rail crossing to St Mark’s is currently under consultation (see larger image).

The Lincoln East to West Link Road proposal would transform the section of the High Street near the busy crossing into a pedestrian-only zone, and traffic in the area would be re-routed. A new bus station is also planned.

Under the plans, Tentercroft Street would be extended to Cross Street so traffic can move around the crossing, instead of causing high volume deadlocks during the day.

The roads around Clifton Street and Dunford Road would also be improved to allow for large volumes of traffic trying to filter onto Pelham Bridge and Canwick Road, as well as improving the link to the industrial area at the Great Northern Terrace.

The proposed plans are due to the city’s growing traffic and population growth, and the increasing amount of waiting time at the city’s three railway crossings.

Residents of Portland Street were also concerned because the 500 buses per day which used the High Street now avoid the crossings by using the narrow street. The Council recently introduced a ban on heavy vehicles using Portland Street.

The new plans would not only reduce traffic congestion in the city centre, but also improve delay times, and create a better east to west Lincoln road link.

Links between the High Street shopping areas, the University of Lincoln and St Mark’s Centre would be beneficial to both shoppers and businesses, and buses will have their own bus lanes to use instead of Portland Street.

The proposal could potentially give scope to allow for a bridge over the train line where the High Street crossing currently is, easing waiting time further.

Les Davies, Senior Project Leader at the County Council, said: “We are proud to see that Lincoln is a growing city and the population using the city centre is set to increase significantly over the next 20 years. However, this will lead to even further traffic congestion and it’s crucial that the economic vitality of our city isn’t stifled.

“We are therefore excited about these radical proposals which will help ease congestion by providing a strategic east-west link road.

“Sustainable travel measures will also be addressed by providing increased cycle and walking routes and encouraging the use of buses by providing priority measures,” Davies added.

However, the widening of roads could lead to a few businesses having to be moved out of their current residences. Lincolnshire County Council will support moving these businesses into newly built business accommodation at the Old Coal Yard.

As these stages are still only in the public consultation stage, work may not begin until spring 2013 at the earliest, though would be completed within the year.

Lincolnites are invited to have their say on the matter at public exhibitions this week, as detailed below:

Thursday, July 8
St Mary’s Guildhall, 385 High Street
11am to 8pm

Friday, July 9
Waterside Shopping Centre, High Street
9am to 5pm

Saturday, July 10
Waterside Shopping Centre, High Street
9am to 5pm

Source: Lincolnshire County Council