On the road to prosperity

There's been a renewed call for improvements to the A16. SG120315-122TW
There's been a renewed call for improvements to the A16. SG120315-122TW
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A wide-ranging strategy to boost businesses and South Holland’s economic growth has been welcomed by the district council’s cabinet.

South Holland District Council chief executive Anna Graves is pointing the way to the district being “open for business” as well as identifying some key projects for investment through work with partners.

‘It sets the scene for how we intend to proceed over the next few years with businesses’

Projects listed are:

1 Spalding Western Relief Road

2 A151/A17 Peppermint Junction Interchange (a roundabout to replace the T-junction)

3 Additional grow-on units at Crease Drove, Crowland

4 Agri-food centre of excellence at Holbeach

5 Better broadband

6 Directly delivering the council’s wider housing objectives

Last November, South Holland business leaders took their campaign to dual the A16 between Spalding and Peterborough to 10 Downing Street with a warning that fast growing food and haulage companies could die without improved infrastructure.

The delegation met the then transport minister John Hayes, the South Holland and The Deepings MP, who said there were no guaranteed outcomes and any steps “must be measured, thoughtful and considered”.

Dualling the A16 was a high priority for some business leaders when the district council held an Open for Business meeting in February – and now a district councillor says improvements to the road should move up the list of priorities.

Coun Bryan Alcock, an Independent from Crowland, told Tuesday’s cabinet meeting: “I would hope, if not in this paper (the chief executive’s report) but within a reasonable period of time, the authority could look at giving slightly more importance to the A16.”

He highlighted the business community’s support for dualling the road, which is detailed in the report, and also the “two dangerous junctions” at Crowland.

One council aim is to attract inward investment and – working with partners – deliver projects to support the growth of key industries.

Council deputy leader Nick Worth said of the report: “It sets the scene for how we intend to proceed over the next few years with businesses, making it much more of a whole council approach.”