Highways bosses have said that the traffic troubles inflicted on the town by the latest set of roadworks will be ‘worth it’ in the long term.
Residents and businesses have been left frustrated with long tailbacks through Boston since work began last Monday to install a new cycle path.
The six-week project – coupled with other works to a crossing and traffic lights – has meant a lane of John Adams Way has been closed during the day.
One motorist took an hour and a half to get from Johnsons Garden Centre on the A52 to Asda in Lister Way.
Highways bosses say they are doing what they can to limit disruption – with lane closures only in place from 9.30 am to 3pm to avoid rush hours – and will see if they can afford to do the work at night instead.
Satish Shah, head of highways, said: “We’re working hard to minimise the disruption caused by these road works, for example, by taking off the lane closures when these are not required. We’ve also shortened taper lanes and made sure there are periods of time where all lanes are open to keep traffic moving.
“We’re continuously reviewing the situation so there’s as little congestion in the area as possible. I apologise for the disruption being caused and we’d ask for your patience while works are under way. The end result will be worth it, with safer and better provision for cyclists and pedestrians and improved traffic flow.
“The possibility is also being investigated of completing the work overnight, when fewer vehicles are on the road, subject to cost.”
Some have questioned whether the cycle path, which will run from High Street to South Square, is even needed.
Mr Shah replied: “We’ve taken this opportunity to improve the cycle route and footpath as other repairs to the road were needed anyway. The toucan crossing at John Adams Way needed to be replaced, and the alteration to the four-way traffic signals at the John Adams Way, South End and South Square junction have been designed to improve traffic flow, and will therefore reduce congestion in the long term.”
The work has been criticised by bus firm Brylaine, which says its services were delayed by 80 minutes on the first day and by an average of 35 minutes since.
A spokesman said the works had held road users in a ‘vice-like grip’ and said it was doing all it could despite having not contact in advance from highways bosses.
They added: “We also hope our passengers understand that our resources are limited and that we are all working really hard, currently with no support and presently no communication from LCC Highways, to provide much-needed bus services as effectively as we can.”
Mr Shah said: “It’s our policy to inform bus and coach operators of upcoming road closures, and on this occasion we did give notice of the closures on the High Street and South Square.
“Unfortunately, John Adams Way was not included in this notice, partly because lanes on the road are still open.”
He said the problems last Monday were made worse by vandalism committed to a crossing and an accident on the roads.