February 2, 2021 3.33 pm This story is over 33 months old

Council supports A46 Newark bypass plans but fears lack of A1 improvements

Cllr Davies says Lincolnshire is “the backbone of the east”

Richard Davies, the county councillor in charge of transports, said he supports the proposed improvement works to the A46 at Newark, but urged for Lincolnshire to not be forgotten.

It comes after Highways England developed two possible options to improve and widen the section of the A46 just outside Lincolnshire.

As part of the project, the single-carriageway section between the Farndon and Winthorpe junctions would be upgraded to a dual carriageway.

Both proposed options, for which public consultation began in December, would include a new link and bridge over the A1 to the north of the existing bridge.

Any work on this stretch would start in either 2024 or 2025, taking up to five years to finish, and LCC has been approached for feedback on the proposals.

Lincolnshire County Councillor in charge of transport, Richard Davies. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Cllr Davies has said improvement works to this section of road are “critical” to connect Lincolnshire with the rest of the country.

He said: “I thank colleagues at Highways England for seeking our views on their plans.

“Improvements here are overdue; traffic from the A46, A1, A17 and Newark traffic all meet here and are funnelled into one lane, creating a major pinch point on the network.

“The congestion and serious delays that drivers face here is a huge source of frustration for residents, damaging for local businesses, and a barrier to the economic growth of the region.

“We think Highways England’s second option for Newark Bypass would provide the quickest journey times in and out of Lincolnshire and reduce this bottleneck.

“I’d also like Highways England to look at the impact work here will have on the surrounding network, including on Lincolnshire’s roads, to identify the wider benefits to residents and businesses.”

Mr Davies has, however, mentioned his disappointment with the plans to keep the A1 junction unchanged.

“However, under the plans, the A1 junction seems to remain unchanged. I hope Highways England do not miss this opportunity to significantly improve access onto this critical north-south link.

“The A1 itself is not only vital for connecting Lincolnshire to the rest of the country, it’s the backbone of the east of England. And yet investment here is long overdue too.

“Bringing the A1 up to motorway standard – coupled with the plans for the A46 around Newark, and the support for the North Hykeham Relief Road – would be a great start to the promised levelling-up the UK.”