July 25, 2022 6.00 pm This story is over 23 months old

Fears new A16 changes will wipe village businesses off the map

Businesses already suffering while trying to recover post-COVID due to roadworks

Residents and business owners in Kirton fear planned changes to the A16 roundabout entrance to the village will cause safety issues and hit local businesses.

Lincolnshire County Council is planning to turn the highway into a fully-signalised crossroads, along with widening the length of both A16 approaches.

They say the build, one of several A16 schemes funded by £20million in Levelling Up Funding, will allow for future improvements along the road, including expanding a dual carriageway section.

The aim is to improve the A16 corridor between Boston and Spalding – a key route for the agri-food industry.

However, locals are worried the changes will actually make it more hazardous and increase speeding at the proposed junction, as well as an increase in standing traffic and air pollution.

Business owners are already feeling the impact of ongoing flooding repair works on top of the impact of Brexit, COVID and the Cost of Living Crisis.

They fear that the changes, as well as the road works, will make their economic prospects even worse.

Parish and Borough Councillor Peter Watson said: “It would seem that LCC is somewhat determined to wipe the future prospects of Kirton off the map when looking at how the drainage scheme in the village has closed the village down, and will not reopen until September having started in April.

“And now this will have a significant effect on local businesses and residents.”

The plans for the A16 at Kirton. | Image: LCC

Raygan Thompson said: “How does this make it safer? Lots of standing traffic increases air pollution in that area.”

Michael Hockley added: “Seriously, there’s a perfectly good roundabout there, why introduce something that is more hazardous.

“Spend the money on more needed highways projects in the area.”

Other projects under the Levelling Up Funding include the A16/Marsh Lane junction in Boston, and the Spalding junctions of the A16/B1180 and A16/A151.

A meeting has been organised on Wednesday at 7pm at St Peter and Paul’s Church in Kirton for local community to meet and air their concerns.

Local MPs and councillors along with Highways officers have been invited to attend.

Councillor Richard Davies, executive member for highways, said: “One of our highways team will be attending the public meeting this Wednesday evening. While there, he will be able to better explain the scheme, answer questions and, most importantly, listen to people’s concerns about the project.

“Following that, we will re-look at the project, including its viability and what form the improvements take moving forward.”