‘Not in our lifetime’ claim – as councillors told distributor road completion could be more than 20 years away

The entrance to phase one of the Boston Distributor Road being built as part of the Quadrant development.
The entrance to phase one of the Boston Distributor Road being built as part of the Quadrant development.

‘Not in our lifetime’ were the words uttered under the breath of one councillor as highways bosses were asked when the new Boston Distributor Road (BDR) would be completed.

Boston borough councillor Alison Austin was in the public gallery of the Corporate and Community Scrutiny Committee on Thursday, as Coun David Brown asked when the road would be completed.

The discussion centred around the Boston Transport Strategy, which looks to guide future traffic planning up to 2036.

Lincolnshire County Council’s senior project leader for the scheme Richard Hardesty told councillors: “The completion date is beyond the plan. It’s very difficult to predict.”

Councillors were told that the BDR was a ‘very, very important part of the strategy’ and its first and second phases were included with the Quadrant and would take the road down from the A16, to London Road and through to the A52.

Mr Hardesty added that there had been ‘interest in land to the north of the North Forty Foot Drain.

He said there was a chance the BDR could make ‘good progress’ during the planned period [2016-36].

Councillors were told however, that significant amounts of funding would need to be found.

Coun Stephen Woodliffe pointed out the number of water ways around the town.

“How many millions would a bridge across the North Forty Foot cost?” he said.

“Then there’s the River Witham, which would be another major scheme,” he continued. “There are other waterways. There’s quite a lot there.”

He later added; “If we can’t get funding, it’s never going to take off.”

Mr Hardesty accepted the points and said a steering group had been set up to look at the strategy and would be examining those issues among others in the report.

Councillors were also told details about the numbers used as part of the strategy. Mr Hardesty repeated to councillors that most of Boston’s traffic was coming into town, not travelling through it.

Figures show that the A52, A1121 and A16 roads south and west of the town have an annual average daily flow (AADF) of 31,000 vehicles, with the A52 and A1121 seeing an AADF of more than 41,000 vehicles after merging. In the town centre, the total flow on John Adams Way and Fydell Street is nearly 50,000.

The A16 on the north and east of the town sees an AADF of 20,700 and after the Burton Roundabout, it and the A52 see a combined daily flow of 14,000 vehicles.

The strategy aims to get people walking, cycling and using public transport more.