Horncastle MP Victoria Atkins has turned up the heat in the on-going battle to solve the town’s notorious traffic delays.
Ms Atkins has met with a Department of Transport Minister in a bid to unlock what she has described as the ‘Bull Ring Bottleneck.’
She described the meeting as ‘positive’ and said it was the first step toward finding a solution to traffic jams on the A153 and A158.
Ms Atkins is also involving leading figures from East Lindsey District Council, Lincolnshire County Council and the Lincolnshire Enterprise Partnership - along with Boston and Skegness MP Matt Warman.
Her intervention comes as campaigners are calling for a new by-pass in Horncastle amid fears the town will not be able to cope with an increasing amount of traffic.
Although Ms Atkins does not specifically mention a by-pass, sources confirmed she is aware of the demand for a new road.
Ms Atkins initially raised the town’s traffic problems in the House of Commons in September, saying: “The single carriageway roads (the A158 and A153) cannot cope with the volume of traffic between the city of Lincoln and the east coast.”
She said that it could take up to 45 minutes to pass through the Bull Ring traffic lights.
Ms Atkins also emphasised the need to look at the impact on Lincolnshire’s economy as a whole, particularly the coastal economy.
Speaking after the meeting with the Department of Transport, Ms Atkins said: “It was the first step towards finding a solution to the traffic jams on the A158 and A153.
“The bottleneck has a real impact on daily life in Horncastle and surrounding areas in the summer months.
“Along with the delays, constituents also have to put up with heavy lorries, pollution, dirt, noise, litter and deteriorating road surfaces.
“That is why I have taken this to the top, asking the minister to give this matter his attention.
“These delays do not just affect Horncastle, however. For tourists who are visiting the coast for a day at the seaside, delays of up to 45 minutes each way may deter them from visiting the Lincolnshire coast again.
“It will take time to find a solution – and the funding for any solutions – but this meeting means that the issue is firmly in the minister’s mind.”
District council leader Craig Leyland, Richard Davies, portfolio holder for highways, and Ruth Carver, from the Enterprise Partnership, also presented their analysis of the traffic problems to the minister.
Ms Atkins says she would like to hear the views of business and residents affected by the traffic jams in Horncastle.
She can be contacted by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by phoning 01507 527017.