New ‘gateway to coast’ could help boost Skegness economy

Skegness beach and pier.
Skegness beach and pier.

East Lindsey District Council and Lincolnshire County Council have joined forces in an ambitious bid to persuade the Government to part with millions of pounds to open up a new ‘gateway to the coast’.

Top level talks have already been held between the two authorities, local MPs and the Government’s Transport Minister John Hayes.

The councils claim that improving road, rail and bus links to the coast and the Lincolnshire Wolds would attract thousands of visitors and pump millions of pounds into the local economy.

We can reveal the plans could include new by-passes for Horncastle and Wragby as part of proposals to upgrade the A158 which is the main route from the Midlands to coastal resorts like 
Skegness.

Confirmation of the joint bid has come from 
ELDC leader Coun Craig Leyland.

However, he admits that apart from funding, one of the major obstacles to overcome is persuading the Government to alter the criteria for 
funding improvements to transport links.

Coun Leyland said: “I was fortunate to attend a meeting with John Hayes and our local MPs to raise a number of issues.

“We tried to change the view that improvements can only come with actual infrastructure reasons - like the number of vehicles and large numbers of new 
houses.

“We have made the point that the issue is not about infrastructure in places like Horncastle.

“It is about the coast and all our tourist attractions - 
both in the Wolds and on the coast.”

He added: “We (ELDC) will work with the county council on a coastal access strategy.

“It is very important 
work.

“We (ELDC) are working on an economic action plans that takes everything into account.

“It is called ‘East Lindsey 360 degrees’ because it would benefit everyone, whether it’s the coast or inland.

“We fully realise the challenges we have but we are determined to tackle those challenges.

“Simply sitting back and doing nothing is not an option.”

Coun Leyland was speaking during a question and answer session at a meeting of Horncastlle Town Council last week.

Further details of the scheme are yet to be revealed or exactly how much money would be needed to fulfil 
the project.

l What do you think? Do we need to look at how people get to the coast? What should be done to improve the coastal gateway to Skegness and the Wolds? Email stephen.stray@jpress.co.uk