Councillor hits out at traffic light timings in Horncastle

Seeing red: A Horncastle town councillors claims  traffic lights at the Bull Ring junction are behind delays
Seeing red: A Horncastle town councillors claims traffic lights at the Bull Ring junction are behind delays

Notorious delays at a busy junction in Horncastle are being exasperated by the timing of traffic lights, a town councillor has claimed.

Residents have been complaining for many years that the lights on the Bull Ring junction favour traffic on the A158 (Jubilee Way) ahead of Boston road (A153).

Because of that, long delays build up on Boston Road, particularly at a weekend during the summer.

Now, town councillor Angela Birchall says she has timed the sequence of the lights.

Speaking at the September meeting of the town council, she said the lights on Boston Road stayed at green for just 20 seconds while those on the A158 were at green for more tan a minute.

Coun Birchall said: “There is no parity. It (the timings) need to be looked at.”

Coun Birchall told the meeting that given the difference in the timings,it was hardly surprising there were delays on Boston Road.

Councillors have previously heard claims that traffic tails back as far as the industrial estate, meaning it is often quicker to walk into town than drive.

Mayor Coun Brian Burbidge said the town council had previous raised concerns about the lights with officials from the County Council.

He said a specialist traffic light engineer had spoken at a town council meeting.

Coun Burbidge explained the basic problem was the volume of traffic at that junction - officially recognised as one of the busiest in the summer.

Coun Burbidge said he understood the timings were controlled by traffic sensors and added the fact pedestrian crossing at the junction had to be taken into account added to the problems for highways officials.

Town and county councillor Bill Aron said he raised the matter before with Highways officials and would make further recommendations.

On-going issues at that junction from a key part of efforts for a new town bypass as part of the Coastal Highway programme.

Coun Aron confirmed the County Council’s Executive Committee had formally proposed that a bypass should be short-listed as part of the programme.

He said work was ‘being progressed’ on the bypass with plans hopefully ready to be submitted in the first half of next year as part of a funding application to central Government.

Horncastle’s MP Victoria Atkins recently confirmed she was lobbying at Westminster to secure funding.

A bypass would solve traffic flow issues on all major routes into and out of the town - not just the A158 .

Town councillor Angela Birchall said although a bypass route had still to be confirmed, she was concerned here was too much focus on the a158 (East/West) route.

She is worried plans would not help ease delays on the A153 (North/south).

Coun Bill Aron assured Coun Birchall that while plans were still being drawn up, a bypass would ‘alleviate the whole problem of through traffic, north south as well.’