Lincoln Eastern Bypass funding bid submitted

Lincolnshire County Council submitted to the Department for Transport (DfT) on September 9 a ‘best and final’ bid for £50 million towards the expected £98 million cost of the Lincoln Eastern Bypass.

The council is making a contribution of £14 million and following a meeting in August, is acting as ‘guarantor’ to underwrite the £34 million of third party funds.

The bid successfully made it through an initial ‘expression of interest’ stage in February, though plans for the bypass shifted from a double to a single carriageway scheme, to reduce costs from £112 million.

County Councillor William Webb said: “A Lincoln Eastern Bypass has been sought for almost 20 years now.

“It is the best solution to relieve congestion by improving traffic flow in the city, and it will have a tremendous positive impact on economic prosperity for the county as a whole.

“This will be the best opportunity we get to make the Lincoln Eastern Bypass a reality. The recent agreement by LCC to act as guarantor for any funding shortfall strengthens our bid position considerably.

“This doesn’t mean that we’ve found an additional £34 million to construct a bypass but we are able and prepared to borrow in anticipation of having it returned as the local development market improves.

“What it means is that if we are successful with our DfT bid, construction of the bypass can start much sooner using this money, without having to wait to finalise the details of ‘developer contributions’.

“Any additional money needed would only be for the short term because these developer contributions will be recouped over the next 15 years from anticipated housing development across central Lincolnshire.”

The Lincoln Eastern Bypass would take around two years to build and construction could start in early 2014, if the bid is successful.

Changes to the process of bidding for money for major highway schemes under central government directives have seen a two year delay with the project.

A decision from the DfT about whether the £50 million bid has been successful is expected by Christmas.

Source: Lincolnshire County Council