Mayor supports expansion and hopes county council cash could ease town’s traffic misery

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Horncastle’s mayor has welcomed a county council pledge to expand the town’s industrial estate – and potentially solve one of the county’s most notorious traffic ‘hot spots’.

Lincolnshire County Council is set to invest additional money in several projects as part of a proposed 3.5 per cent increase in council tax.

If approved at a full council meeting next month, the tax bill for a Band D property would increase by £45.18 a year.

Money will be earmarked for a number of future projects, including:

• improvements to tackle ‘pinch-points’ along the Lincolnshire Coastal Highway (A158)

• an extension to Horncastle Industrial Estate (Boston Road).

• the creation of new school places

• the replacement of Kirkby on Bain household waste recycling centre

Mayor, Coun Fiona Martin, said: “The news regarding the industrial estate is very welcome because it could lead to more investment and more jobs.

“The estate is close to capacity so any extra land that becomes available would be welcome.

“However, if there is an expansion, then the access to the estate must be improved, along with surrounding roads.

“The existing access is not good enough. With extra traffic, delays would also increase and there is concern about more HGV’s in the town centre.”

Regarding the Coastal Highway, Coun Martin said she hoped plans would include long-hoped for improvements at the junction of the A153 and A158 in Horncastle.

She said: “If they are talking about pinch points, then that is one of the worst on the route to the coast.

“They (LCC) haven’t specified that junction but what is the point in spending money elsewhere if vehicles are going to be queuing in Horncastle?”

The county council did spark controversy last year when it announced there was no funding for a Horncastle by-pass.

Highways chiefs were also sceptical about what they could to improve the flow of traffic at the junction and ruled out suggestions of a roundabout because of a lack of space.

Residents will welcome the extra cash for road repairs and flooding measures.

LCC leader Coun Martin Hill said: “We know road repairs and flooding are a priority for many residents.

“So, despite the continued reduction in our main government grant, we’re proposing to spend around £4m on 16 extra highways gangs next year, who’ll carry out additional maintenance across the county, including pothole repairs.

“In addition, more than £2m will go towards extra drainage repairs and new flood-response equipment for Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue.

“£350,000 will be set aside for a ‘green masterplan’ with the council aiming to become carbon neutral by 2050 – or sooner if that’s practicable.”

For Lincolnshire County Council, there is a proposed 1.5% increase in general council tax, with a further 2% increase specifically for adult social care, giving an overall rise of 3.5%.