Ambitious plans to create a multi-million pound Coastal Highway in Lincolnshire are on track - and a long-awaited end to the misery of jams in Wragby and Langton is a key part of the project.
The Coastal Highway will involve an upgrade of the A158 from Lincoln to Skegness and is designed to end years of delays, attract more visitors and deliver a massive boost to the regional economy.
Apart from generating new business growth on the coast and inland, the improved link will also open up the Wolds to more tourism.
Richard Davies, Executive Councillor for Highways at Lincolnshire County Council, delivered an update on the project at a meeting of Horncastle Town Council last Tuesday.
Coun Davies stressed the project would not involve a new road from Lincoln to Skegness but, instead, a series of schemes targeting specific traffic hot spots, including Horncastle, Wragby, Langton and other locations.
He revealed that thanks to feasibility work carried out on those schemes, the project now meets the criteria for the government’s bypass fund.
Coun Davies said more engagement sessions would be held with local councils and community groups but added an outline plan for the entire project could be finalised by the end of the year.
He confirmed the county council hoped to submit applications for funding next year.
Coun Davies admitted the process could mean it is another 10-15 years before the upgrades are completed.
He said improving the route to the coast was a key part of the Conservative manifesto going into the last county elections.
Coun Davies did not mention specific plans to improve the Wragby and Langton section of the route.
Despite spending millions of pounds on improvements, traffic regularly tails back in the Wragby area, especially during the peak summer months.
Coun Davies did reveal a by-pass for Horncastle was a key part of the Coastal Highway project.
He said: “We feel we’re in a really good place to go to Government and say we need a substantial amount of cash to make this happen.
“There is a bypass fund. We were successful in getting the A158 into the major road network plan and that means the road is applicable for this fund. Prior to the work, it would not have been the case. We’ve done a series of enagements and consultations looking into designing a series of schemes all along the route.
“Once everything is in place, we can look at costs.”