Why Do The Jubilee Way/West Street Roadworks not fulfil their promise?
Now that the Horncastle A158/West Street roadworks are complete it is time to take stock.
Do these roadworks fulfil the promise that was made by Lincolnshire County Council (LCC), the aims of the Inspector at the 2014 Public Inquiry and fulfil the requirement for Horncastle?
There is little doubt that the long overdue resurfacing of West Street was well executed and completed only slightly late!
There are still some issues with the road markings not being completed as expected. Why is there still a pinch point outside No 42 West Street and why are there no white H bars across all private entrances as there were before?
There are still no double yellow lines from Clarence House up to the junction, consequently cars are able to park too close to the junction thus causing a hazard to both pedestrians and motorists.
The main justification for the work on the junction to be carried out was stipulated at
Condition 11 from the Langton Hill Public Inquiry (APP/D2510/A/14/2214716).
At that time, the Inspector made it clear that if the development of up to 300 homes were to go ahead the increase in numbers of cars, cycles and pedestrians would exceed the capacity of the junction.
He directed that the developer was to liaise with LCC Highways and the Local Planning Authority (LPA) to agree a plan to improve the flow of traffic and safety to pedestrians and cyclists.
The agreement was referred to as Plan ref 1351/09D. This plan was never subjected to public consultation and was never disclosed despite continued requests to both the LCC and the LPA.
LCC stated that a consultation was not required as the plan was subjected to the planning process conducted by the LPA. East Lindsey District Council had nothing to say on the matter!
It was understood that there would be Pedestrian Light Controlled Crossings
(Pelican) on both Jubilee Way and West Street.
This is not the case; under the improvements only Jubilee Way has been provided with Pelican crossings!
Those pedestrians crossing West Street near the Grammar School are still going to have to take their lives in their hands!
It has been stated that the electrical ducting and capacity are all in place to provide the pedestrian lights that are required. In which case why not introduce them immediately?
There was a written statement from Cllr Davis LCC that they could not spend money from two budgets on a single programme, the rules do not allow?
The 278 Agreement that LCC made with Cyden Homes was purely for the crossings and did not include improving traffic flow at the junction by widening the road.
Proposed plans were presented to LCC by residents explaining how to introduce a turn right lane at the bottom of Langton Hill by widening the road and moving the traffic island 2 metres.
Under the present improvements nothing has been done to mitigate the increase in traffic using Langton Hill due to recent and planned developments.
Jubilee Way has been widened slightly from the River Bain bridge to the junction to enable two minimum width lanes on the westbound carriageway.
During a Town Council meeting, prior to these improvements starting, an LCC spokesmen made a number of statements.
While discussing the timescale required, they emphasised that the programme was such a long time (2 months) to allow for contingencies.
One of these contingencies was the weather. Why, when we have had the best September, October weather ever on record has the programme overrun by 4 days rather than finish early?
Overall I would like to thank and compliment the contractors on the work carried out.
They suffered unacceptable abuse from a number of motorists; I would believe and hope not local people.
The main reason for the frustration, however, was due to poor organisation and signage by LCC.
The council officials refused to take any input from local residents who know their town.
The coastal traffic should have been diverted throughout the period.
Many businesses have suffered from a lack of local people willing or able to get to the Town.
The impact of 2 months disruption was far more widespread than was considered at the outset.
I would suggest that LCC conduct a public “lessons learnt” so that they, and we all can learn from the experience, but I fear that is unlikely to happen? Let us look forward to the bypass!