October 4, 2019 2.04 pm This story is over 26 months old

Local Democracy Weekly: Without funding, highways projects are on a road to nowhere

Some major highways projects could help solve a lot of the connectivity issues in the county.

Lincolnshire’s roads need a lot of money to be brought up to an acceptable standard for today’s rural traffic and transport needs, so it’s disappointing when the county misses out on funding opportunities. The latest road block was a £25 billion Government pot.

Some of the funding will go towards plans for the A46 in neighbouring Newark, but, as with many of these things, when it comes to road networks, Lincolnshire can often feel like it’s left out.

And it’s not like our roads don’t need the money, just last month it was revealed that plans for a £50 million Horncastle bypass had been shelved after the county council struggled to find funding for the scheme.

For many, the news throws doubt on the £200 million Lincolnshire Coastal Highways plan, which included improvements on the route from the A1 up to the North Sea coast, and plans for a relief road in Skegness which is expected to be drawn up in the coming months.

Over in South Holland, the controversial central section of the Spalding Western Relief Road could be another 10 years before it’s built. Aside from the worry that it could be built through residents’ family homes it does not yet have funding.

The north and south sections of the £100 million road are ready to go – but without that middle there are fears traffic in the area could be crippled by what would end up being two separate “cul-de-sacs”.

It’s not all bad news, as several road projects plough on. Last month, the Grantham Southern Relief Road’s second phase began and the Lincoln Eastern Bypass saw the start of major bridgeworks lifted into place.

A business case has also been submitted to the Department for Transport for the North Hykeham Relief Road, but it will be another tentative wait to see if the government purse strings will stretch to it. — DANIEL JAINES

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