Boston barrier will NOT be finished sooner

The scene in High Street, Boston, after the flood
The scene in High Street, Boston, after the flood

Boston’s £100 million flood barrier will not be delivered any quicker, according to experts.

Yesterday MP Mark Simmonds revealed he had received a letter from Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) under secretary of state Dan Rogerson which appeared to show the Boston Barrier timescale will be reduced by 18 months.

However The Standard understands that the time saving measures outlined in the letter had already been factored into the construction of the barrier – meaning the 2019 end date still stands.

A spokesman for the Environment Agency said: “Subject to approval, the construction of the Boston Tidal Barrier will begin in the summer of 2017 and be completed by the end of 2019.

“There are still a number of things to do, including designing the barrier and the Transport and Works Act Order application, before we can start construction.

“When we were planning the Boston Barrier, we found that we could save time by running some critical procurement activities at the same time as the Transport and Works Act Order application.

“That will cut 18 months off the total delivery programme, meaning it will be completed in 2019 rather than 2020/2021.”

Experts have said the barrier would have prevented the December 5 flood from hitting Boston.

Politicians have since lobbied for it to be brought forward, although The Standard has been told that this is not possible.