Eastern Bypass: definitely maybe?

Lincoln’s long-lived plan to build the eastern leg of the city bypass may well be back in action, after the cost of the scheme was reduced.

Thanks to the reduction by Lincolnshire County Council, the scheme can be put forward to get funding from the Government’s local transport £630m expenditure pot.

Originally the scheme, which will connect the A46 from Wragby Road roundabout to the A15 Sleaford Road, would cost £130m.

However, the County Council have managed to cut the overall budget to just £88m.

There have been concerns that cuts could mean the dual carriageway plan is scrapped and replaced with just a single lane road, which could lead to more congestion.

Before the cut, the plans were in limbo due to the Department of Transport placing it the bottom category for funding.

Due to these measures the council had put the plans, which have received planning permission, on hold until now.

The new addition to the bypass aims to reduce traffic in the city centre by 20% as well as reduce carbon emissions damaging historic buildings.

The plans will be competing with 44 other schemes across the country to receive funding.

Executive member for Highways and Transport Councillor William Webb told BBC Lincolnshire: “We are more hopeful than ever that funding will be available for this road.

“We fully intend to build a dual carriageway road. The issue here is that there is evidently not sufficient government funding available to fund the road that we want to build.

“Having got into the development pool, which means we are probable rather than possible, we have until September to look around and talk to our partners and landowners along the route to find out what additional funding we can put forward so we can build the dual carriageway road.

“Having got to this position, where the government are certainly sympathetic to our scheme, then we have got to our best to ensure that they continue to look on us as a favourable scheme and find the additional funding.”

“I’m extremely enthusiastic that this will happen in the next five years,” he added.

The government should make a final decision on the Eastern Bypass by the end of 2011.

Related Reports: BBC Lincolnshire | Lincolnshire Echo