POLICE in Horncastle have warned they will launch a policy of “zero tolerance” towards illegally parked vehicles during major roadworks which start on Monday.
The Bull Ring will be closed for five weeks as Lincolnshire County Council carries out major improvements to the junction of the A158 and A153.
All traffic travelling through the town on the A153 will be diverted along the already congested High Street, Bridge Street and West Street, before joining Jubilee Way.
Residents and business owners have expressed growing concern about delays.
Police admit there is a “very real danger” vehicles parked on yellow lines could cause “gridlock”, especially in and around the Market Place and West Street.
They say any vehicle parked illegally will be ticketed.
They are calling for people to avoid the town centre and walk or cycle, if possible.
They have also urged parents of children at local schools to either stagger pick-up times or park well away from the main diversion route.
HGV drivers are being advised to avoid the A153 and use the A16 via Louth and Partney - a diversion of almost 30 miles.
Other HGV’s will be diverted along a single track road between the A153 and A158 across Shermans Wath Bridge near West Ashby.
Horncastle PCSO Nigel Wass told the News: “There will be periods of disruption and if we are to avoid a situation of gridlock, we need everyone to work together.
“We are putting plans in place to keep disruption to a minimum but we will be operating a zero tolerance policy to illegally parked vehicles.
“The message is clear - if you park on yellow lines you will get a ticket.”
Police are liaising with business owners in an attempt to agree “suitable times” for deliveries.
PCSO Wass added: “The diversion is busy in normal circumstances but it will be carrying an increased volume of traffic, including buses and HGV’s.
“The road narrows in places and the last thing we need are vehicles causing obstructions.
“We are asking for everyone to show a common sense approach. If you park on yellow lines outside the banks to use the cash points then don’t.”
PCSO Wass also warned vehicle owners not to use Stanhope Road, Queen Street and Foundry Street as “rat runs”.
Locally, police have not taken a ‘hard-line’ approach to parking in recent months, unlike forces in other areas.
PCSO Wass said: “We have issued 60 tickets this year but we try and warn drivers first. That won’t be happening during the roadworks.”
The roadworks, which are not due to be completed until October 9, will involve the installation of new traffic lights and energy-saving street lights.
Essential maintenance will be carried out to South Bridge while improvements will be made to footpaths and drainage which could ease flooding. A new pedestrian crossing will be installed on South Street.
Horncastle’s County Councillor Bill Aron has championed the works and believes they will provide enormous long-term benefit to the town.
During the works, temporary three-way traffic lights will be in place on South Street and Jubilee Way.
The entire junction will be closed to all traffic for one night to allow Jubilee Way to be resurfaced.
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Weather for Horncastle
Thursday 23 May 2013
Temperature: 4 C to 10 C
Wind Speed: 21 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 5 C to 10 C
Wind Speed: 28 mph
Wind direction: North