Lincolnshire County Council blasted as 13-year wait goes on and on...

The junction of Coning Street and North Street outside Mr Ingram-Hill's bookshop
The junction of Coning Street and North Street outside Mr Ingram-Hill's bookshop

A Horncastle business owner has stepped up his calls for major safety improvements at a town junction - 13 years after he was told action would be taken.

Richard Ingram-Hill owns a bookshop at the junction of Conging Street and North Street.

He says he ‘constantly witnesses’ the difficulties drivers and pedestrians face at the junction.

Mr Ingram-Hill claims many of the incidents are caused by vehicles ‘cutting a corner’ and driving over the pavement at the junction.

He has supplied the Horncastle News a copy of a letter he received from Lincolnshire County Council in October 2006.

In it, a council officer states it is: “their intention to make sure Tesco provide improvements to the junction by means of traffic signals with pedestrian facilities.”

At the time, Tesco was making changes to the site of the supermarket, accessed via Conging Street.

The letter adds: “In fact, a design has already been drawn out in readiness for this and Tesco are aware of our proposals.”

Mr Ingram-Hill says: “That was over 13 years ago and what has happened – absolutely nothing!

“We have people driving over the pavement within inches of my shop door.

“People often need to cross North Street, often at great risk, due to drivers who have little regard for pedestrians.

“In January, there was a collision between two cars near to my shop which was attended by police.

“There were many other ‘near misses’ on that day, accompanied by blaring horns.

“There were also several drivers who use the road between the Bull Ring and the Old Court House (North Street) as a race track, accelerating to a ridiculous speed with the accompanying deafening exhaust roar.”

Mr Ingram-Hill adds that all his attempts to ‘correspond and engage’ with the county council have been ignored.

He says he is in contact with the town’s county councillor Bill Aron.

However, Mr Ingram-Hill says that in his opinion, Coun Aron’s recent claims regarding the efficiency of the county council’s highways department must have been made before he contacted him (Coun Aron) about his concerns.

Mr Ingram-Hill goes on to endorse the town council’s decision to set up its own Highways Working Group to work alongside Coun Aron and help solve issues.

He adds: “I have attempted to engage with LCC in the hope they will act and therefore improve safety at the junction, as well as North Street as a whole.

“Ignoring the road safety issues outside my shop for over 13 years should not, in any one’s wildest imagination, be described as ‘looking after Horncastle.’

The News contacted Lincolnshire County Council and Councillor Aron.

Coun Aron said: “Lincolnshire County Council has looked carefully at the collision records and there isn’t an accident history at this junction – caused by the road layout – that would justify significant changes.

“A bollard,or other such deterrent on the kerb, would block the path for wheelchairs/pushchairs.

“The county council has contacted Mr Ingram-Hill and he is aware there is little the council can do to alter the junction.

“I understand driving on the pavement is illegal and a matter for the police.”