Councils tussle over Western Growth Corridor traffic impact

Two local councils have clashed over a major new housing development in Lincoln, with one side claiming the plans “ignore” traffic problems.

A senior councillor in charge of highways and transport at Lincolnshire County Council said the city council’s multi-million-pound plans, which include 3,200 new homes and a football stadium, lack detail.

Councillor Richard Davies said: “Although we recognise the need for additional housing, we do have concerns that not enough is being done to mitigate the impact on the city’s roads.

“We would like the city council to make a commitment to residents that they will put the right highways infrastructure in place before people move in.

“If the development is to succeed, it is vital that residents have realistic alternatives to travelling by car, which means including things like bus lanes and cycle paths and connections to destinations beyond the boundary of the site.

“It’s far easier to include these measures from the start than try to shoe-horn them in later.

“Perhaps more importantly, they can’t simply ignore what happens to all the extra traffic once it hits the boundary of their development.

“They need to consider where these people will be travelling to and whether any improvements are necessary within other parts of the city to accommodate them.

“Of course, all these things cost money, and that may mean their development isn’t as profitable as it might otherwise have been.

“But they can’t lose sight of the fact that, as a local authority, their residents have to be their top priority.”

The masterplan proposed by the City of Lincoln Council.

The city council instead placed the blame for lack of congestion solutions on the county council.

Kate Ellis, Director of Major Developments at City of Lincoln Council said: “Along with the county council, we have signed up to the Central Lincolnshire Local Plan to help combat the city’s chronic housing shortage.

“Within the Local Plan is the Western Growth Corridor development, which we are progressing with as joint developer. We have conducted extensive consultation on the scheme with local residents and have taken specialist opinion on highways and transport matters, particularly relating to how any additional traffic generated by the development could impact on the highways network.

“Our focus is to always do what is best for the city. Our existing road network is creaking, and we have a significant railway impact on some of our major routes.

“The local highways authority have not been able to deliver a solution but we are confident that the planned new road through the development, linking Skellingthorpe Road to Tritton Road via a new bridge over the railway, will play a major part in helping ease traffic problems by bypassing the current congestion at the railway crossing.

“We have worked extensively with traffic experts to reach this point and it is recognised that unless this work is undertaken congestion in the city will worsen. With this in mind, we look forward to the county council’s support as our plans go to planning.

“The application will be submitted in April 2019 and the county council as a statutory consultee will as usual have an opportunity to formally review and comment on the transport work as part of the formal planning process. We will continue to work to deliver what is best for Lincoln.”

As previously reported, the City of Lincoln formally agreed to submit a planning application last week.