There will be a new speed limit of 60mph when the Lincoln Eastern Bypass opens “before the end of the year”.

The £120 million single carriageway bypass will start at a new roundabout on the A15 Sleaford Road and finish at the A158 Wragby Road.

An exact competition date for the bypass, which will become the new A15, has not yet been revealed by the county council. However, councillor Richard Davies said it will be ready ahead of Christmas.

There will also be new road layouts in place, which are expected to divert up to 25% of traffic from Broadgate in Lincoln.

Speed limits

  • The new bypass’ speed limit will be 60mph
  • A 40mph speed limit will be in place at Wragby Road roundabout
  • A 50mph speed limit will be in place on Hawthorn Road, between the new bypass and Cherry Willingham (the existing 40mph in Cherry Willingham will remain)
  • Speed limits on Greetwell Road, Washingborough Road, B1188 Lincoln Road, A15 Sleaford Road and Bloxholm Lane will remain as they were before construction started

New junction layout at Hawthorn Road. | Photo: LCC

New road layouts

Hawthorn Road

Drivers will be able to access Hawthorn Road east from the new bypass with a permanent closure of Hawthorn Road from the west for drivers.

No access to Cherry Willingham will be available via the Hawthorn Road junction with Bunkers Hill.

Access to Cherry Willingham from the new bypass will only be available for southbound traffic from Wragby Road roundabout. Traffic accessing the bypass from Cherry Willingham will only be able to enter southbound towards Greetwell Road.

Greetwell Road, Washingborough Road and B1188 Lincoln Road

New bypass roundabouts at each of these locations will provide access in all directions.

A15 Sleaford Road / Bloxholm Lane

Bloxholm Lane has been split in half by the new bypass, so its existing junction with Sleaford Road will be marked as ‘no through road’.

The new A15 Sleaford Road roundabout will provide a connection between northbound and southbound Sleaford Road, the Lincoln Eastern Bypass and the re-aligned Bloxholm Lane.

Heighington Road

The road will pass over the new bypass from above via a new bridge. There will be no access from Heighington Road to the new bypass or vice versa.

New road names

  • The Lincoln Eastern Bypass will become the new A15
  • The current section of bypass between Riseholme Roundabout and Wragby Road Roundabout will also become the A15 (currently the A46 and A158)
  • The current section of A15 from Sleaford Road Roundabout, through Bracebridge Heath and to the bottom of Cross O’Cliff Hill will become the A607
  • The current A15 through Lincoln (starting at Cross O’Cliff Hill, over Pelham Bridge and to Wragby Road Roundabout) will become the A1434

The bypass will also be added to the council’s gritting schedule and local highway officers will regularly monitor wear and tear on the road.

Meanwhile, over 300 new trees, 10,000 smaller shrubs and plants, and an extensive new drainage system are just some of the ways county engineers are lessening the road’s impact on local ecology.

Lincolnshire county councillor, Richard Davies, executive member for highways. | Photo: Steve Smailes.

Councillor Richard Davies, executive member for highways, said: “Although we don’t have a specific date set just yet, we’re just weeks away from Lincoln’s new bypass opening ahead of Christmas.

“And when it opens, people can expect some changes to how the road network in and around Lincoln works.

“This includes re-familiarising with the previous speed limits, adjusting to new ones and re-planning journeys to make the most of the bypass while factoring in some new road layouts.”

Lincolnshire’s gritters have not been blessed ahead of going out this year due to concerns over COVID-19 — but council transport bosses say the tradition will carry on.

The annual blessings, carried out by Lincolnshire bishops since 2003, are supposed to use prayer in a bid to limit the number of accidents and other tragic events on the roads.

Bishops who carried it out the tradition previously have said there has been a “dramatic reduction” in the number of deaths

It’s the first time at least 10 years that the annual service has not taken place.

Gritters were deployed by Lincolnshire County Council on Friday following snowfall in the morning and ahead of sleet, rain and further icy weather this weekend, which is likely to cause treacherous conditions.

Further gritting runs are expected to take place.

Karen Cassar, assistant director for highways at Lincolnshire County Council, said: “Given the threat of COVID-19, we’ve been restricting visits to our depots and we didn’t think it was appropriate to gather people together for the blessing ceremony this year.

“We hope we can bring the tradition back next year.”

She said the teams were well prepared for the winter season and were monitoring the weather 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week.

However, she warned: “If you have to go out in wintry weather, please remember that grit isn’t magic dust, it takes time to work and treated roads can still be icy.

“Make sure you drive to the conditions.”

The council has 43 gritters on standby and more than 25,000 tons of salt in storage – last year the authority used 15,858 tons.

In an average winter, the council would expect to use between 18,500 to 20,000 tons

They cover 1,900 miles of road including all the A and B roads.

The leader of Lincolnshire County Council said he will reject proposals to increase councillors’ expenses by 2.75% for 2021 next Friday.

Cllr Martin Hill said: “I don’t think we should take anything bearing in mind obviously coronavirus issues and the fact that a lot of people out there are struggling with their jobs and their businesses.”

As council leader, Cllr Martin Hill could go from being able to claim £35,026.42 to £35,989.64 next year, a difference of £963.22, but said he will reject this increase.

“I’m fairly confident that I certainly won’t be taking it. I don’t think any of our conservatives will be wanting to follow the recommendation and we’ll be looking not to take the increase […] I just don’t think it’s right at the current time,” he said.

All 69 elected councillors currently receive a basic allowance in order to carry out their specific roles.

The basic allowance for councillors currently stands at £11,055.27 but this will go to £11,359.28 if the 2.75% increase is approved next week, and if councillors decide to take it – a £304.01 increase. No other changes will be made to allowances.

Cllr Hill’s party will be meeting on Monday to discuss the options. | Photo: LCC

However, Cllr Robert Parker, leader of Lincolnshire’s Labour party, said “I would say that we would probably be supporting it,” but understood “the timing is unfortunate”.

“This is about catching up with the allowance system which we have an annual look at.”

As leader of the opposition, Cllr Parker’s allowance would go from £9,949.73 to £10,223.34 if approved, an increase of £273.61.

Cllr Robert Parker, Leader of Lincolnshire’s Labour Party.

The level of allowances for councillors is recommended by an Independent Renumeration Panel (IRP), made up of people from outside of the council.

In 2018, the IRP recommended that the members’ allowances scheme continues to be linked to the average percentage increase in pay for employees.

Lincolnshire County Council has to agree its members’ allowances scheme every year and 2020 is no different.

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