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'Spalding Relief Road Funding should be secured now'

District planning vice-chairman James Avery stepped away from his committee role to lambast the "ill thought out" scheme for a cul-de-sac at Pinchbeck.

He said it will have a huge impact on Pinchbeck and Spalding, potentially for two decades, "with no guarantee of it ever being joined up into a relief road".

The Pinchbeck and Surfleet councillor spoke as a ward member - which meant he couldn't vote on the relief road schemes.

Planning vice chairman James Avery opposed the road plans. (11475901)
Planning vice chairman James Avery opposed the road plans. (11475901)

Coun Avery told members: "Funding for the entire Spalding Western Relief Road should be identified and secured at this stage and not left to chance at some stage in the future."

He believes the northern end of the relief road, known as Section 5 , cannot bring about improvements in traffic congestion until the middle sections of the road are built.

Quoting county councillor Richard Davies, executive member for highways, Coun Avery said it was envisaged the central sections of the road would be delivered by 2036, while the Local Plan says it would be beyond that year.

Coun Avery said: "Can we have some clarity in terms of the time frame or are we going to have cul-de-sacs for the next 17 years?"

Earlier, Coun Avery told members: "The term used to sell this overall proposal to the public is 'Spalding Western Relief Road'. This terminology is wholly disingenuous given there is currently no funding for Sections 2 to 4, no commitment to the time frame, and it provides no relief to the existing road network and its users."

He said Spalding Road, Enterprise Way and Wardentree Lane are pinch-points several times a day and if county council officers believe traffic will pop out onto the A16 "they are having a laugh".

Fellow ward councillor Sally Slade feared the project will push traffic on back roads through the villages, and thousands of new homes will lead to the suburbanisation of Pinchbeck.

Coun Slade said: "We will lose the last remaining green space between town and village, something which is treasured by those on both sides of the Vernatt's Drain."

Coun Harry Drury - who abstained in the vote on the northern section - commented on existing traffic congestion at Pinchbeck.

He said it takes him 20 minutes to drive from Boston to Pinchbeck but an hour to get from Pinchbeck to Spalding.

Coun Drury said: "The 'relief' element of the road isn't going to be in situ before those properties are being built so it is a concern to our local infrastructure."

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