Long held aspirations to alleviate congestion in Skegness while supporting new housing and business developments to boost employment have taken a positive step forward.
Lincolnshire County Council’s Fourth Local Transport Plan looks set to include a Skegness western relief road for the first time ever, paving the way for investors and authorities to start developing the proposal.
Skegness and District Chamber of Commerce chairman Glenis Brown has championed such a scheme for more than a decade and is delighted that is has finally made it to this stage after much collaboration between key figures in the town.
“It’s been bubbling away in the background for years but to get it on the final transport plan is wonderful news,” she said.
“This gives Skegness the chance to grow again after years of being blighted by flood risks.”
According to plans drawn up by architect Chris Mager the road would depart the A52 west of Skegness towards the A158 just west of South View Leisure, before continuing onwards towards Ingoldmells.
The road would not only relieve congestion along Roman Bank, which has been a long running source of discontent in the town, but also pave the way for new developments.
Those behind the project believe new housing, industry and hotels could be created and other possibilities such as a park and ride facilities could also be considered.
Coun Ken Milner, whom Mrs Brown has praised for escalating the issue with LCC’s highways division, now hopes private businesses can start looking at the potential to invest.
“The task was to get it included on the plan so that investors can look into how to bank roll the project.
“It would make a fantastic opportunity for businesses and will also take heavy duty vehicles away from Queen’s Road, which I’m getting a lot of complaints about.”
Although Coun Milner expects private enterprise to fund the majority of the project, estimated to cost around £5 million per kilometre, he also believes European funding could be secured.
Bidding on found four of the Regional Growth Fund has recently opened for bids of £5 million or more, for which the relief road could be considered.
Coun Milner and Mrs Brown have both attributed the project’s recent success to a more coordinated approach between key players in the town.
“It’s no good working in isolation, everyone’s got to come together for this to work,” said Mrs Brown.
They now hope Stefan Krause can utilise his experience in funding bids to apply for the RGF money, which Coun Milner hopes may ‘twist investors’ arms’ in getting underway.
The transport plan still requires final approval from LCC’s executive board, although Coun Milner says it is highly unlikely to be rejected.