MP asks Transport minister to ‘help us deliver expensive but vital bridge in the middle of distributor road’

The current proposed route of the Boston Distributor Road, taken from the Boston Transport Strategy 2016-2036. �Crown copyright 2017 Ordnance Survey. Media 020/17
The current proposed route of the Boston Distributor Road, taken from the Boston Transport Strategy 2016-2036. �Crown copyright 2017 Ordnance Survey. Media 020/17

Boston MP Matt Warman has asked the Government for help in funding an ‘expensive but vital bridge’ set to be built as part of the proposed Boston Distributor Road.

Speaking during the Topical Questions debate at the House of Commons on Thursday, Mr Warman told the Secretary of State for Transport Chris Grayling that new housing developments had ‘preserved a route’ for the planned road – which is hoped will ease traffic – but that they could not fund it entirely.

MP Matt Warman

MP Matt Warman

He said: “Boston is a growing port and a growing town. New housing developments have preserved a route for a Boston distributor road, with which I know my right hon. Friend is familiar, but what will he do to help us to deliver the expensive but vital bridge in the middle of the distributor road, which we cannot of course ask housing developers to fund entirely?”

Mr Grayling responded that he was ‘aware of the importance of the Boston bypass project’.

He said: “The town is situated on an A road with a congestion problem and is one of those for which I would expect to see proposals come forward for the bypass fund.

“We will look very carefully at the bridge issue, and I am very happy to talk to him about that.”

The Boston Distributor Road (BDR) will, proponents say, in the long term will provide a western link road between the A16 in the south of the town and the A16 in the north, serving new developments to the west of Boston.

Although Mr Warman did not mention which specific bridge he was requesting funding for, a map of the proposed distributor road shows it crossing both the South Forty Foot Drain around the middle and the River Witham further north.

The project has been started as part of Chestnut Homes’ Quadrant build, which aims to deliver 500 houses and a new Community Stadium for Boston United, and has been included in other plans submitted to the council - including a 1,200 home plan from Broadgate Homes which will see Gilbert Drive extended as part of it.

Transport authorities have rejected calls for a full-on bypass of the town, pointing to statistics which show that most of Boston’s road users are going in to town.

The recent Boston Transport Strategy 2016-36 said that ‘nearly half of travel to work journeys start and end within Boston and half of these journeys are made by driving a private motor vehicle even though Boston is approximately 4km across.’

It has been noted by some however, that the BDR does in fact appear to extend slightly outside of the town’s current boundaries, though, if housing developments are the key factor in its construction this will likely change.

The transport strategy has also suggested that a new East-West Relief Road (BEWRR) from the A16 Spalding Road, across the River Witham to Skirbeck Road, could generate traffic benefits and suggested further investigation.