As an elected member involved in promoting a western relief road for Spalding, I would like to clarify a number of points for your readers.
Although it is not part of the consultation, the start point for the proposed new road – the edge of the Holland Park development – seems to require some explanation.
The section of road within Holland Park was originally nothing to do with a relief road. Provision of that road was negotiated with the developer in order to avoid repeating the problems being experienced with another major residential road, Wygate Park – HGV traffic passing through a residential area and persistent speeding.
The road now being consulted on is part of what we hope will become a complete link between the (soon to be) old A16 and Pinchbeck Road.
The county council shares the district council’s concerns about proposals to increase rail freight traffic through Spalding and is therefore putting resources in to seeking a solution.
The cost of such a project means that we have to be realistic about what can be achieved initially. To consult on a completed link would raise too many expectations at this stage. I fear completion will inevitably require some central government help.
Even if the new road was built and the two roads linked via a bridge over the railway, it will be a far from ideal solution – that would be a new railway line looping around Spalding.
Traffic in Spalding town centre could still experience significant delays. We therefore need to make our concerns known at the highest level.
I have already written to local MP John Hayes and he passed my letter on to the minister, whose response was non-committal; he referred to only two trains per hour and suggested the increase would be gradual from 2014.
If that is the case, it simply means that we have a little more time to address the problem, not that there will not be a problem. Also, as one might expect, the minister suggested it was up to local people to find local solutions – and the proposal currently being consulted on is part of that process.
But it’s the squeaky wheel that gets the oil first and in this case, the squeakier the better, especially if we need to seek government help down the road.
Can I therefore invite all concerned readers to contact our Mr Hayes, write to Network Rail or, write/email directly Norman Baker MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Department of Transport at firstname.lastname@example.org
Spalding Wygate Ward