Motorway could stretch to Spalding

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Spalding could be minutes away from a motorway if campaigners calling for a M11 extension are successful.

Renewed calls for the motorway to pass through Linconshire come as objectors to the HS2 national high-speed train from London to Leeds failed to force further scrutiny of the rail link in the Supreme Court.

Campaigners want the Government to abandon its HS2 plans in favour of a M11 link from London to Humberside, because they believe an improvement of the county’s infrastucture is vital to the economy.

The Spalding Guardian can reveal a letter from Robert Goodwill MP, minister for the strategic road network, states the feasibility of an M11 extension as part of the London to Leeds (East) strategy, is being researched.

Mr Goodwill states: “The Highways Agency has conducted a series of engagement events with local stakeholders to identify the performance issues on routes and other challenges.

“This evidence gathering stage will be completed by the spring.”

Campaigners from Lincolnshire currently pressing the Government for the M11 extension represent a group of east coast businessmen concerned a new fast train would take holidaymakers away from them and to the south.

However, reference has been made to a preferred route in the British Gazette, which calls for the motorway to pass between Whaplode and Moulton in South Holland.

The article states: “Currently the M11 terminates just to the north west of Cambridge. We think it should extend as far as Grimsby in Lincolnshire.

“To spend £32 billion to shave 30 minutes off the rail journey from Leeds to London – and on a service that only those currently travelling First Class will use – is profligate lunacy.

“Our proposed route for the M11 extension is that the three lane motorway should run roughly north north-west to a point west of Chatteris and then roughly north so as to bisect the A151 between the villages of Moulton and Whaplode, then roughly north skirting Algakirk to the east and Kirton to the west, skirting Kirton End to the east and then north past Gipsey Bridge to the west New Bolingbroke to the east, Mareham-le-Fen to the west and Revesby to the east. Then roughly to the west of Louth, terminating at the 90 degree bend on the A18 north west of North Ormsby.”

MP John Hayes said it was unlikely a route would pass by his home village of Moulton. He said: “It would be handy for me to get to London, but motorways link major cities so would not pass by Moulton.

“The more likely route would pass close to Peterborough, where there are already links with the A1.

“It would still be close enough to help the economy of South Holland.”

Nigel Burch, senior economic development officer at South Holland District Council, had not heard of the M11 extension proposal.

He said: “However, through my contact with businesses in the district, I do know that there is frustration with the current road infrastructure, in particular the lack of dual carriageways and the imposition of the 40mph limit for HGVs on single carriageways.

“The transport system is under constant pressure because of the number of HGVs using the roads due to the dominance and importance of the agri-food and logistics sector in South Holland and surrounding area.”