Boston’s MP has put The Standard’s campaign for funding to be drawn down for a £100 million investment for the new Boston Distributor Road on the Government’s radar after questioning the Transport Secretary in the House of Commons today (Tursday).
The Standard, backed by Boston Borough Council, is campaigning for up to £100m funding to be drawn down from a recently announced £100 billion Government scheme, aimed specifically at improving road networks.
The money, it is hoped, would be used for the planned Boston Distributor Road linking the A16 north and south.
Speaking during a Topical Questions debate, Mr Warman asked Transport Secretary Chris Grayling: “The Secretary of State has long taken a personal interest in the Boston bypass.
“Will he join me in commending the excellent campaign being run by my local paper, the Boston Standard, which is gathering evidence from local hauliers, in particular?
“Does he agree that it bolsters an already compelling case for an application to be made to his bypass fund for this road in due course?”
Mr Grayling acknowledged that he had often ‘visited the proposed site of the Boston bypass on more than one occasion of the years’. This includes to oversee the plans for the Quadrant development.
He said: “I know that a vigorous campaign has been run by his local paper, local activists and himself.
“You will know, Mr Speaker, that we will shortly be bringing forward the next stage of our proposals for what I have dubbed the “bypass fund”, and there will be opportunities to build bypasses in the not-too-distant future,” he added.
Following the debate, Mr Warman said: “As I said in my question today, the Transport Secretary has taken a personal interest in the Boston bypass, and I am delighted that our local campaign is on his radar.
“The Government is providing a number of opportunities for local authorities to apply for funding for bypasses, and I look forward to supporting a bid from Boston at the earliest opportunity in the future.”
The campaign has already been backed by hauliers and businesses in and around Boston.
The Standard launched its campaign to get residents to become a driving force in getting a share of the funding to ‘improve productivity and connectivity of towns, tackle bottlenecks and traffic jams and through traffic’ earlier this month.
We’re calling on the Government to send some of the recently announced extra money from the National Roads Fund to help pay for, and speed up the building of, the new £100m Boston Distributor Road in a bid to help ease traffic flow around the town.
In an ideal world, a fully-funded new bypass would be the perfect solution for the town’s residents.
However, official data continues to show that the majority of traffic is heading into the town, but not coming out the other side.
Officials believe the new road, which has started in the Quadrant and will eventually link the A16 north and south will reduce the impact of traffic dramatically.
The road, which will include two new bridges, is set out in the Boston Transport Strategy, but at the moment could take more than 20-plus years to complete (the strategy only covers up to 2036).
It would be hugely reliant on contributions from housing developers and funding out of already tight budgets.
However, authorities can bid for between £20-50 million and in exceptionally strong cases £100 million – which would cover the majority of costs involved.
The Government has already listed some main roads it thinks could be considered, and Lincolnshire County Council has also moved to put some extras in its bid.
Announcements about selected projects will be made in the summer.
The Standard’s campaign, which would aim to deliver the petition to the Transport Minister before the summer announcements, is already backed by Boston Borough Council, which says speeding up the plans for the road would reduce town centre congestion, boost economic development, open up land for housing and reduce Haven Bridge area air quality issues.
To get involved fill in the coupon opposite, or sign the petitions which will be available at Municipal Buildings, Geoff Moulder Leisure Complex and the Guildhall.
To collect your own form email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or print one off at www.boston.gov.uk/transportforboston
Return all completed petition forms to Municipal Buildings by Monday, April 30.
Have your say in The Standard by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
FACTFILE: Boston Distributor Road
Boston Distributor Road would provide a new route around the west side of the town, linking the A16 to the north, the A1121 Boardsides and A52 to the west, and the A16 to the south.
A safeguarded corridor for the route has been identified in the draft South East Lincolnshire Local Plan.
The road has been started as part of The Quadrant development by Chestnut Homes.
The scheme provides the initial section of the distributor road by linking the A16 with the adjacent London Road.
The plan at the moment will then be to head south along London Road a short way before another new road is begun, which will run to the A52 Grantham Road before crossing the New Hammond back behind Tesco/Aldi - thereby avoiding traffic along Wyberton West Road.
As part of the proposed route, there are sections which would require major structures including road, river and rail bridges over the New Hammond Back, and a similarly larger bridge over the Maud Foster drain.
It is estimated that the entire distributor road would cost in the region of £100m.