COUNCIL: Don’t assume it has things under control

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I read with interest your article on train gridlock in Spalding over the next five Saturdays.

All residents will be dreading the ensuing traffic chaos and Network Rail’s cavalier attitude to prior consultation is indefensible.

This aside, I am strongly in support of railways for people and goods transportation, so long as the former is at affordable prices.

Network Rail’s upgrade of the line is welcomed in the hope that it will eventually bring Spalding into the national rail passenger network which can only be good for residents and local business.

My main concern, however, was Councillor Porter’s comments about the Vernatts Bridge. What he did not say was that neither he, nor Gary Taylor as ward councillor, were aware of Network Rail’s proposals for access to do the necessary works on the railway bridge until several very concerned residents wrote to them directly after a ‘consultation’ by Network Rail on the Vernatts bank in the dark last spring.

We were told they were

negotiating a ‘compensation’ sum with the council for their proposal to build a temporary tarmac road along the top of Vernatts bank from Pinchbeck Road to the bridge (over major gas and water supplies), to

accommodate a very heavy crane and construction traffic.

The works would start

imminently with the bridge replacement over the May Bank Holiday (24/7) and then continue from early morning to evening over the summer.

You can still see where trees and shrubbery were removed (prior to the consultation) just before Sharpe’s Bridge and fencing installed to give access. We were told that this would mean temporary traffic lights on Pinchbeck Road throughout the works.

To be fair to Couns Porter and Taylor, once they did become aware they responded quickly, but what would have happened if local residents had not brought this to their knowledge?

The moral has to be to make yourselves continuously aware of what is going on in your neighbourhood and don’t assume that your local council has things under control.

The next challenge has to be proposals, in due course, to build the third phase of the Spalding relief road between the town and Pinchbeck with an eyesore of a railway bridge and noise and light pollution in an area of significant wildlife, not to mention the

annexation of Pinchbeck and the impact on residents.

Heather Violett

via email