LETTER: We DID work to get a bypass for Boston

Opinion
Opinion

Loath as we are to challenge such a hard working councillor as Richard Austin (recent letter in the press) we, the undersigned, do feel we the need to contradict his assertion that absolutely nothing had been done to secure a bypass for Boston before Boston Bypass Party came on the scene.

The facts are that under the previous (before Boston Bypass) administration, dating back to 2000, Boston Borough Council had been in touch with Lincolnshire County Council on many occasions to discuss routing and funding of a southern - western - even northern road that could alleviate Boston’s traffic ills.

The chairman of the then Regional Assembly accepted an invitation to visit Boston to see the problem on the ground. The Lincs County Council portfolio holder for highways and planning was similarly well lobbied. Our MP also was aware of the town’s plight and had been as helpful as possible under the circumstances prevailing at that time.

And one of these circumstances was that there was no EU money for road building; but there was for regeneration schemes, which is why the phrases ‘Regeneration Corridor’ or other euphemisms were used by the the 1999-2007 administration whenever they should have been saying bypass.

The Bypass Party, once elected, under the guidance of its leadership, naively insisted on pushing the ‘B’ word forward at every opportunity when such named schemes were not the flavour of the month with the funding powers-that-were at that time.

The visit to Parliament was a prime example of asking for the wrong thing at the wrong time.

However one interpreted the minister’s statement on that day it said, very plainly, ‘We are not making a funding exception for LCC/BBC roads. Get in line; go through the same channels as everyone else seeking road building funds’.

A waste of time then when the Bypass Party leadership could have been using its efforts to identify relevant schemes, like the Southern Economic Corridor, with its opportunity for EU funds, giving a potential to lever in money to at least start a solution to the borough’s traffic problem.

There are some of us, still, within the council who can remember the many meetings pre-2007 with all the parties mentioned above and who are really astonished at Coun Austin inferring that absolutely no effort had been made to secure a - call it what you will - relief road/regeneration corridor/bypass/economic corridor or distributor road for Boston before that year.

The contents of this letter have been agreed by Couns Peter Bedford, Michael Brookes, Colin Brotherton, Maureen Dennis, Paul Goodale, Yvonne Gunter, Paul Kenny, Richard Leggott, Frank Pickett, Ossie Snell and Mary Wright.

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