Do we need a by-pass in Horncastle?

Traffic in Horncastle.
Traffic in Horncastle.

Horncastle MP Victoria Atkins is calling on residents and business owners to let her know whether the town needs a new by-pass.

Ms Atkins is asking for views for or against a new relief road that would ease notorious congestion at the A153/A158 bottleneck in the town centre.

Her appeal follows the government’s announcement last week of a £1billion fund to improve the ‘Major Road Network Plan’ - including vital A-roads that connect market towns.

Ms Atkins said: “At this time of year, we welcome visitors to Lincolnshire’s seaside but the popularity of our coastline means heavy congestion for local residents in and around Horncastle.

“It can take up to 45 minutes to get through the traffic lights at the Bull Ring.

“I would like to hear the views of local residents and businesses to see if, when the time comes, an application for a by-pass should be made to relieve the Horncastle bottleneck.”

Since being elected, Ms Atkins has been involved in the on-going campaign to relieve the town’s traffic problems.

Last year, she led a Lincolnshire delegation to the Department for Transport to discuss potential solutions with the Minister of Transport.

Ms Atkins added: “I lobbied the Minister to recognise that the A-roads that link our market towns are vital to our rural and coastal economies.”

“I am delighted that the government has listened and that this new fund will invest in such roads.”

Many residents have been calling for a by-pass for several years.

There have also been claims in the last couple of weeks that delays on Boston Road are worse than ever.

However, Lincolnshire County Council has denied altering the sequence of traffic lights controlling the junction of the A153 and A158 in favour of allowing more vehicles to travel on the route to the coast.

The County Council and East Lindsey District Council agree a relief road would improve access but securing the multi-million pound funding has always been a major stumbling block.

A potential route is another headache, particularly with major new developments planned for Horncastle.

Many people favour a route to the north of Horncastle, linking the A158 with the A153 near to West Ashby and then onto the A158 again beyond the eastern boundary of the town.

However, a number of businesses are concerned about the impact a new road would have asit would take potential cusomers even further away from the town centre.

Interestingly, Ms Atkins’ appeal also comes just hours after Coun Richard Davies, the County Council’s Executive Member for Highways and Transport attending a meeting of Horncastle Town Council.

Coun Davies was expected to face a grilling on a number of issues including the by-pass and continued concerns about West Street and the general poor state of local roads.

Apart from Horncastle, there have been calls for a new by-pass around Wragby - another ‘hot spot’ on the route to the coast.

*Send your views on a by-pass for Horncastle to victoria@victoriaatkins.org.uk or write to her at the House of Commons.