MOTORISTS are facing more than a month of misery as work starts to improve safety measures on one of the district’s busiest roads.
The installation of a new safety scheme along the A151 through Whaplode and Moulton is expected to cause major tailbacks due to traffic lights and a convoy system.
It follows a ten-year fight by A151 campaigners, who are delighted with the outcome.
The new scheme will see lower speed limits, interactive signs and central islands installed along the road.
The work is expected to take until the end of March to complete.
About 13,500 vehicles use the road every day and drivers will be facing long delays while the work is carried out.
It is unlikely that the road will have to close but from Monday, February 21, there will be traffic lights with a convoy system in place.
There will be significant disruption while the refuges are built and motorists are advised to avoid the road if possible.
The scheme includes:
l speed limit reductions from 40mph to 30mph through Whaplode, from 60mph to 50mph from Weston to Whaplode and from Whaplode to the link road roundabout at Holbeach
l reactive signs at each end of Whaplode and Moulton, including speed indicator signs coming into Whaplode from Moulton
l three centre refuges at key points in Whaplode to make it safer for people to cross
South Holland district councillor Bob Creese, who has been one of the driving forces behind the campaign, said: “I am absolutely delighted.
“This scheme represents some reward for our years of campaigning, lobbying, endless meetings and petitions.
“Finally, we are about to see a comprehensive road safety scheme implemented that I believe will have a significant impact on the appalling accident record of this section of the A151.
“It is not the bypass we want, nevertheless, it’s a huge step in the right direction.”
Coun Creese said fellow councillors Malcolm Chandler, Bob Merchant, Pat Carter, Alec Welch, Andrew Woolf and Anthony Casson have all been instrumental in securing the scheme.
Coun Creese is assuring people that he is not giving up hope of securing a bypass in the future but feels this scheme is a perfect interim measure.
He added: “This scheme will go a long way to addressing the problem in the meantime.
“Every aspect of it is important but hopefully the lower speed limits will discourage lorry drivers from coming through the village and maybe they will use the A16 and A17 instead.”
Sue Cooper, county council senior highways officer, said: “Hopefully, these changes will mean residents will be safer when out on the road, whether on foot or behind the wheel.”