Leyland- there’s no quick fix to calls for town by-pass

The Bull Ring in Horncastle - one of the junctions at the centre of calls for a new by-pass EMN-161014-155133001
The Bull Ring in Horncastle - one of the junctions at the centre of calls for a new by-pass EMN-161014-155133001

East Lindsey District Council leader Craig Leyland has warned there is no ‘quick fix’ to calls for a Horncastle by-pass.

Campaigners have stepped up their efforts in recent after another summer of delays on main routes through the town.

MP Victoria Atkins raised the issue in Parliament and received an assurance from Government Minister John Hayes that he would hold a meeting of all parties involved.

Coun Leyland told the News that the process was likely to be a long drawn out affair and confirmed that while ELDC and Lincolnshire County Council ‘broadly agreed’ improvements were needed to the A158, any definite proposals were still some way off.

Coun Leyland said: “We have held discussions with the County Council.

“Whether that is a by-pass or an upgrade of certain sections is still some way off.

“There are no firm plans, no route and no funding proposals.

“I sympathise with what people are saying but these things take a long time

“You are talking about millions and millions of pounds of investment and there is no quick fix.”

ELDC has come under pressure from the County Council to include a by-pass as part of its evolving Local Plan which covers all development in the district over the next 15 years.

The latest suggestion from County Hall says consideration should be given to land for a potential route.

The County Council claims delays on the A158 - and the A153 - are hitting tourism and economic development on the coast.

However, Coun Leyland said ELDC needed ‘the full facts and figures’ about the impact delays were having before making any firm commitment.

He said the County Council was in the process of producing a ‘Coastal Report’ which he hoped would strengthen calls for a by-pass.

Coun Leyland welcomed the intervention of Ms Atkins and stressed talks with the County Council would continue.

He warned ELDC would not bow to suggestions it should allow hundreds of new homes in Horncastle to help finance a by-pass . He reiterated the Local Plan would not include any commitment to additional new houses.