Make parking free during work

North Street Horncastle Roadworks
North Street Horncastle Roadworks

East Lindsey District Council should introduce free car parking to compensate for any disruption caused by major roadworks starting Horncastle town centre next month say town councillors.

Contractors will replace gas main pipelines in North Street, High Street and St Lawrence Street.

Estimates suggest the work will last seven weeks and has sparked fears about delays and road closures.

Talks have already taken place between the various agencies involved, including the police and the County Council’s Highways department.

Plans for the work - and measures to cope with any road closures - will be outlined at a public meeting tonight (Wednesday) at Stanhope Hall (7pm).

Several town councillors raised concerns about the project.

Coun Richard Barker, who owns a town centre business, said he had contacted ELDC to ask for free parking to be introduced.

He added: “Needless to say, I am still waiting for a reply and I am not holding out much hope.”

Coun Barker maintained it was vital lessons were learned from the last major roadworks in the town which affected the Bull Ring for much longer than anticipated.

He explained: “I know the contractors are saying seven weeks this time but how realistic is that? It’s the time of year for bad weather. What will happen then? Seven weeks could become 10, 12, 14 or even 15.”

County councillor Bill Aron said he was confident forward planning would result in as least disruption as possible. He said there would be extra workers brought in along with extra signage and a one-way system.

He said: “Every effort is being made to ensure there is the least disruption to shopkeepers and residents. This work needs to be done. It is a major investment in the future.”

Town mayor Coun Fiona Martin welcomed the fact a public meeting would be held.

She said that previously, the first people knew about schemes was when workmen turned up and started digging holes.

She added: “All the agencies involved in are working together. That has to be a very positive thing.”