Top solicitor calls for action to end Horncastle traffic jams

Red light: Queueing traffic at the notorious junction of South Street/Boston Road, the A158 and the Bull Ring (A153).
Red light: Queueing traffic at the notorious junction of South Street/Boston Road, the A158 and the Bull Ring (A153).

A prominent Horncastle businessman has slammed Lincolnshire County Council over the on-going Boston Road traffic light saga.

Patrick Cordingley, who is the chairman of Chattertons - one of Lincolnshire leading legal and wealth management companies - has called on the County Council to finally end years of misery caused by the lights at the junction of the Boston Road/South Street, The A158 and the Bull Ring.

Mr Cordingley has joined other business owners, town councillors and residents in demanding action.

County councillors - and other organisations - have already set in motion proposals for a long-awaited bypass.

However, Mr Cordingley says he has serious doubts whether it will ever be built.

He says the delays on all routes leading to the junction are costing the town’s businesses ‘thousands of pounds’ in lost revenue and investment.

And, he argues that if he was the owner of a new business, he would not consider relocating to the town’s Boston Road Industrial Estate - because of transport issues.

Mr Cordingley told the News: “There are two things wrong with those lights: one, they are not fit for purpose and two, they should not be there.”

Mr Cordingley says the lights are so ineffective, there is no regular flow to the traffic through the town.

He maintains sensors are placed far too close to the junction itself, meaning the lights cannot detect the length of delays on approach routes, particularly Boston Road.

Mr Cordingley adds: “I have sat in traffic jams on Boston Road for three quarters of an hour.

“When you get to the junction, there is often no queuing traffic on the A158 but the lights are set red (for Boston Road) for ages.

“Alternatively, I have been sat queuing way back past the Shell garage on the A158 only to get to the junction and find there is no queuing traffic on Boston Road.”

Mr Cordingley says the sensors - put in to control the sequence of the lights - are a ‘waste of time.’

He said: “They (the county council) put them in the road very close to our offices.

“My question is how can anyone use the censors to check how far the traffic is queuing back along Boston Road?”

Mr Cordingley went on to say Horncastle was widely recognised for traffic delays and, as a result, people were avoiding the town.

He adds: “I’ve lost count of the hours I’ve spent in jams. My fees are £300 an hour.

“Perhaps I should consider asking the County Council to repay some of that.”

Mr Cordingley said he was well aware of the campaign for a bypass.

He revealed he previously lived in Ilkley in Yorkshire where residents were promised a bypass in 1926 - and were still waiting.

He said a bypass would ‘never be built’ in Horncastle and instead, backed calls for a roundabout to control the flow of traffic .

Mr Cordingley accepts extensive roadworks had added to the problem in recent weeks.

• A Horncastle bypass is a ‘priority project’ for Lincolnshire County Council who are doing everything they can to make it a reality.

That is the message from County Councillor Richard Davies, Executive Member for Highways, in response to Patrick Cordingley’s criticism.

In a statement to the News, Coun Davies said: “We’re well aware of the issues with the A158/Boston Road junction, and the impact this is having on both residents and businesses.

“These are both very busy roads and we need something there to manage the flow of traffic.

“There simply isn’t space for a roundabout, so traffic lights are really the only option.

“Ultimately, the problem stems from there being too much traffic for the junction to handle.

“That’s why we’re pushing for a bypass, which would take through traffic away from the centre of the town, making a significant difference.

“For example, almost 20 percent of traffic on the A158 passing through the junction is travelling all of the way through the town from one side to the other, and that’s outside of the busy summer period when there is undoubtedly additional through traffic.

“The Government is beginning to realise the importance of local authority roads and make more funding available for improvements so I’m certainly not as pessimistic as Mr Cordingley about the prospects for a bypass.

“The bypass is a priority project for the council and we’ll be doing everything we can to make it a reality.”

Mr Davies also went on to reveal further details about the sensors which help control lights at the junction.

He added: “There are two sets of sensors on South Street/Boston Road on the approach to the junction, with the first set around 80 metres away.”