CAMPAIGN: More than 1,280 residents support call for £100m

Traffic in Boston. Sleaford Road.
Traffic in Boston. Sleaford Road.

More than 1,280 residents have signed The Standard’s petition calling for the Government to put aside up to £100m funding towards the Boston Distributor Road, currently on its way by 2036 or longer, but which with funding, could be built sooner.

A campaign to gather public support for £100m Government funding for a major road development in Boston has been signed by more than 1,280 people.

A map of where the Boston Distributor Road could go.

A map of where the Boston Distributor Road could go.

The Boston Standard launched its campaign on April 4 to ask residents to become a driving force in getting a share of the recently announced extra money from the multi-billion National Roads Fund to help pay for, and speed up the building of, the Boston Distributor Road.

Members of Boston Borough Council and the Boston Standard were at the town’s historic market last Wednesday to gather signatures.

As of yesterday (Tuesday), we had 1,281 signatures.

Over the past four weeks it has been backed by Boston Borough Council, and supported by people including Boston MP Matt Warman and Lincolnshire County Council’s executive member for highways Coun Richard Davies.

Our campaign has also been championed by organisations including the Road Haulage Association, the Freight Transport Association, the Lincolnshire Chamber of Commerce and the Lincolnshire Coastal Bid.

Boston’s need for better roads and The Standard’s campaign has also been raised to the Transport Secretary himself.

Editorial Director for the Boston Standard Mark Edwards said: “This petition has had a terrific response and we appreciate the time readers have taken to sign it, and to consider the importance of planning Boston’s transport infrastructure.

“From £100m flood defences to new housing and roads - putting Boston at the forefront of this region’s development is important for all of us.

“Ensuring the roads network can support Boston’s development is vital, and this petition will help trigger a debate that puts that in the spotlight.”

Boston Borough Council leader Michael Cooper said: “I have heard, over the years, many comments about the anguish caused by traffic congestion in Boston town centre. To an extent we are in a better position than others, as we already have an agreed plan for enabling some of this traffic not to have to come through the town centre.

“The corridor for this new road is agreed and protected.

“What is needed now is the funding, and this is a real chance to progress this.

“We have got off to a good start, but more signatures are needed if we are to go to the Transport Minister with a petition to impress.

“If you have not already signed the petition – online or a paper copy – please do so as quickly as you can. I know this is an issue close to many people’s hearts, and this is a real opportunity to make your voice heard.”

Official data continues to show that the majority of traffic is heading into the town, but not coming out the other side.

Officials believe the new road, which has been started in the Quadrant and will eventually link the A16 north and south will reduce the impact of traffic dramatically.

The road, which will include two new bridges, is set out in the Boston Transport Strategy, but at the moment could take more than 20-plus years to complete (the strategy only covers up to 2036).

It would be hugely reliant on contributions from housing developers and funding out of already tight budgets.

However, authorities can bid for between £20-50 million and in exceptionally strong cases £100 million – which would cover the majority of costs involved.

Announcements about selected projects will be made in the summer.

The Standard’s campaign would aim to deliver the petition to the Transport Minister before then.

Although the main deadline to support the campaign (April 30) has passed we will still accept signatures up until the to-be-announced date that representatives from The Standard and Boston Borough Council are due meet with the Transport Secretary.

The petition is available to sign at Municipal Buildings reception, Geoff Moulder Leisure Complex reception and the Guildhall reception.

Those wanting to get involved can also contact emma.staff@boston.gov.uk or print off the PDF form at https://bit.ly/2EWNGsF

Return completed petition forms to Communications, Boston Borough Council, Municipal Buildings, West Street, Boston PE21 8QR.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

During this campaign we’ve received a number of questions/comments with regards to the road network and funding. Here we put some of the more frequent ones to the council:

l Why is it not on the other side/going over the docks?

Because this would have the added complication of a bridge over a tidal river which would also have to allow ships to access the docks and the sea.

l Why is it not further out?

It’s a fine line between doing the job of taking traffic away from the congested town centre without inconveniencing motorists by taking them too far out of the way. It has to be to their benefit, or they will not use it. Road construction is also massively expensive, so every mile matters. And there will be a developer contribution, so the cost does matter.

l Why does it not go all the way around to the A52 Skegness?

The coastal route is via the A16. There will be numerous opportunities along the new road to access the town centre.

l We don’t want any more traffic down Wyberton West Road/London Road etc

The Distributor Road would be a new route not using the existing network with the aim of removing as much traffic as possible that starts or finishes (or both) in Boston, as well as removing some, or all, of the through traffic. It would achieve this by having a number of junctions and links back into Boston, thereby maximising the number of opportunities that Boston traffic would have to access the Distributor Road as an alternative to travelling through the town centre.

l Can you be more specific on where the road is going to go?

A protected corridor has been agreed as part of Boston’s future transport strategy. This gives an indication, but the route of the road within this corridor has not yet been agreed. The below is from the Local Plan, which still has to be ratified by a Government inspector, under Policy 30: Delivering the Boston Distributor Road

The Boston Distributor Road (BDR) will be delivered in three phases (as shown on the Boston Inset Map No. 1). The first two phases are expected to happen in the plan period up until 2036.

The three phases are as follows:

- Phase 1: A16 to London Road through the development known as Q1;

- Phase 2: London Road to West End Road (on the southern perimeter of the SUE site known as Sou006) and from Gilbert Drive to the North Forty Foot Drain (through the SUE site known as Wes002);

- Phase 3: North Forty Foot Drain to the A16 north of Boston. Part 3 also includes highway improvement options from West End Road which may include new infrastructure to the A52 and beyond to the North Forty Foot section of highway Highway design for the BDR will be in accordance with the Design Manual for Roads and Bridges as required by the Highways Authority.

l Why can’t McDonalds/Asda/other business be moved to stop traffic there?

These are commercial decisions which the council has no control over.

l Stop building houses then you won’t need more roads

It is generally agreed that there is already traffic congestion in Boston town centre with the current housing stock. This needs addressing. There are also people who need homes to live in, employers who need a workforce, shops which need customers, etc. Stagnation will not take Boston forwards.

l Money should be going on streetlights/potholes etc

This Government fund can only be used for new road building. It could not be used to fill pot holes or light streetlamps.

For more from this click below:

Week one - Help us drive £100 million bid for road funding forward!

Week two - Haulage industry joins campaign to drive £100 million bid for road funding forward!

Week three - Business leaders tell how £100 million Boston Distributor Road would open town up to investment

Extra - Distributor road on the Government’s radar after being discussed in Parliament

Week four - Tourism leaders offer support for petition to draw down £100m Government money for distributor road