A long-awaited bypass for Wragby could be included as apart of a new joint initiative to create a ‘Gateway to the Coast.’
East Lindsey District Council and Lincolnshire County Council have combined in an ambitious bid to persuade the Government to part with millions of pounds to improve transport links to the coast.
Top level talks have already being held between the two authorities, local MPs and the Government’s Transport Minister John Hayes.
The councils claim that improving road, rail and bus links to the coast and the Lincolnshire Wolds would attract thousands of visitors and pump millions of pounds into the local economy.
The plans could also include a new by-pass for Horncastle as part of proposals to upgrade the A158 which is the main route from the Midlands to coastal resorts like Skegness.
Along with Horncastle, Wragby is a notorious bottleneck on that route with long delays, particularly in the summer.
Confirmation of the joint scheme has come from ELDC leader Coun Craig Leyland.
However, he admits that apart from funding, one of the major obstacles to overcome is persuading the Government to alter the criteria for funding improvements to transport links.
Coun Leyland said: “I was fortunate to attend a meeting with John Hayes and our local MPs to raise a number of issues.
“We tried to change the view that improvements can only come with actual infrastructure reasons - like the number of vehicles and large numbers of new houses.
“We have made the point that the issue is not about infrastructure in places like Horncastle.
“It is about the coast and all our tourist attractions - both in the Wolds and on the coast.
“The relief that a bypass and other improvements would bring would benefit the wider economy.
“That is an important thing and we need to pursue it.
“We (ELDC) will work with the county council on a coastal access strategy.
“It is very important work.
“We (ELDC are working on an economic action plans that takes everything into account.
“It is called ‘East Lindsey 360 degrees’ because it would benefit everyone, whether it’s the coast or inland.
“We fully realise the challenges we have but we are determined to tackle those challenges.
“Simply sitting back and doing nothing is not an option.”
Coun Leyland was speaking during a question and answer session at a meeting of Horncastle Town Council last week.
He again said the county council was proposing between 1,200-2,000 new homes should be built in Horncastle to bolster the claims for a by-pass.
He stressed ELDC could not support that idea.
Coun Leyland was pressed by town councillor Phil Cantwell to say whether he was in favour of a by-pass.
Coun Leyland said: “I am in favour of a by-pass if it has the understanding and support of local business groups and residents.
“I think it is a good thing. Coastal access is big business.”