Doubts circle over Holbeach roundabout costs

Richard Davies ANL-150526-171833001
Richard Davies ANL-150526-171833001

County highways officials have been accused of using the planned Manor Farm housing scheme in Holbeach as a way of helping to fund the long-awaited building of Peppermint Junction roundabout.

Estimates for the work at the A17/A151 junction have now risen to £4 million, according to Coun Richard Davies, executive member for highways and transportation at Lincolnshire County Council.

A spokesman said a breakdown of the cost wasn’t available, but it would include “labour, materials and signage”.

Coun Davies said: “The A17 is a high-speed road with high volumes of traffic and, as such, the new junction needs to be large enough to cope with current and future traffic flows safely and efficiently.

“It is a fact that major road builds such as this cost a substantial amount but this is money we are investing into the local economy in terms of the road network and the knock-on economic benefits this will bring to the area. We are at the very early stages of costing this scheme but an initial figure is in the region of £4 million which includes a contingency allowance.”

About £2.4 million is due to come from the Government through Growth Deal Funding awarded to the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership in January.

However, Ashley King Developments is also expected to foot some of the bill and Mr King said: “Part of our proposal is to contribute to the cost of a roundabout at Peppermint Junction which is much needed from both a highway safety and traffic flow point of view.

But Holbeach district councillor Francis Biggadike said: “I believe there is no direct link between Peppermint Roundabout and the housing scheme and I can’t understand why a development so far away can be required to make a contribution.”