Boston Bypass & Economic Growth Pressure Group
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BBEG meet with Mark Simmonds MP - 29 September 2006

The Boston Bypass & Economic Growth Pressure Group (BBEG) met with Boston & Skegness MP Mark Simmonds on 29 September 2006. The BBEG also invited Cllr Richard Austin to the meeting, to update them with progress on the newly formed Boston Bypass Independent Party.

BBEG Chairman Robert Fisher states: "It was a very revealing meeting, and it also gave us the chance to reaffirm our group's stance that a bit-part solution will not be acceptable - we do not want to be passed off with another John Adams Way by widening existing roads - the only solution is the provision of a decent road infrastructure around the town."

Robert continues: "The route of a bypass or distributor road needs to be determined and agreed now by all concerned parties. There was agreement at our meeting that whichever of the two scenarios (a bypass or a distributor road) is chosen, the route would effectively be the same, given Boston's layout."

Robert Fisher and Michael Borrill
at the Ruddy Duck, Boston, awaiting the
arrival of Mark Simmonds MP, Cllr Richard Austin
and other members of the BBEG

Mark Simmonds MP stated that there would need to be both a short term and a long term solution, which is true, but Robert Fisher pointed out that the short term solution should not become an exercise to widen existing roads - the town would not cope with the disruption caused for this sort of work to proceed until an alternative outer road was available - the short term solutions should involve reducing the number of traffic lights in the town, for example.

Local Agreement has not been reached
It was both surprising and frustrating to hear from our MP that it was far too early to arrange for a small delegation to go to visit the Transport Secretary, or even the East Midlands Regional Assembly, as 'local agreement has not been reached' between the Councils. There is no point in going to Government until that is achieved. Mark Simmonds MP stated that if we went to the Transport Secretary, we would be told that, "You can't even agree amongst yourselves locally, why are you asking me for national funding?"

Robert Fisher comments: "At the Full Council meeting at Boston Borough back in December 2004, the then Mayor attempted to show a unified vote by asking all Councillors in favour of a bypass to raise their hands, which they did. Why, some 2 years later, are we being told that local agreement has not been reached. Which Councillors at Boston or Lincoln are preventing a solution from going ahead? And more to the point, why?"

Ted Brooks, Mike Borrill, Mark Simmonds MP,
Graham Street and Cllr Richard Austin

Michael Borrill updated everyone with the recent correspondence regarding a Joint Advisory Committee (JAC) and the choice of the Traffic Model resulting in concerns over the pending results of the Transport Study.

Regular Communication
Mark Simmonds MP stated that he felt there was regular communication between both Councils and he himself is in regular contact with the Leaders of the Councils, but if we were not satisfied with the response given by Martin Hill regarding the JAC, we should ask him for further defence as to why he feels it is not appropriate. Michael Borrill highlighted that our letters are not always met with a response and Robert Fisher added that we have still not had a reply from Cllr Webb, despite two letters from Ted Brooks and Robert Fisher, regarding the turning off the traffic lights at Bargate roundabout as a trial. Cllr Webb had said at the Public Consultation in Boston town centre that if he returned to Lincoln and did nothing, it would reflect badly on him - but so far it appears that he has done just that!

Traffic Model Concerns
Our concerns over the SATURN Traffic Model were reiterated to Mark Simmonds MP and he confirmed that the public of Boston are also telling him that they are concerned about the Transport Study too. LCC were made aware of more up to date Traffic Models being available before the Transport Study started and it appears they chose to ignore this information. Another revealing fact is the discovery at our meeting that the Transport Study will have to be repeated in a few years time, if the decision is agreed by the Councils that Boston needs a bypass.

Highways PDG Meeting - Further Delay
Michael Borrill also mentioned that the Highways PDG meeting on Monday 2 October 2006 should have discussed the Transport Study results, which the BBEG were planning to attend, but this had now been put back to November. Michael Borrill asked Richard Austin to find out the reason for this and Richard also stated that he would be on holiday in November but would arrange for a Councillor to represent him at the meeting in November. The BBEG will attend that meeting, but as we are not Councillors, will presumably not be allowed to speak again. It is therefore imperative that the Councillor concerned is fully briefed and does not allow this opportunity to be missed for Boston's case to be put.

Bypass Independent Party
Cllr Richard Austin informed us that he had held the inaugural meeting of the Bypass Independent Party on 28 September 2006. He stated that he formed his group to achieve political focus at all levels. He added that it was easy to promote and very well attended and he has a broad range of Candidates.

When asked if the Transport Study suggests a bypass is warranted in the long term, but recommends the widening of the A16 in the short term, what are his thoughts on this, Richard Austin stated that he has not started to talk in detail with his candidates, as the group has only just been formed, but commented that he was aware of concerns that substantial chunks of money should not be squandered, thus possibly resulting in a major road infrastructure becoming unaffordable. Robert Fisher stated that our group was pleased to hear he was aware of our earlier comments that a bit-part solution should not be sought in preference to a bypass or distributor road. We do not want another John Adams Way.

Car Parking
Robert Fisher briefly mentioned the ongoing concerns over car parking charges in Boston - even the new shopping centre on the old Asda site is set to charge people to park from Monday 2 October 2006.

BBEG to meet MP again
It was agreed to continue to keep in regular correspondence with Mark Simmonds MP and arrange a further meeting once the Transport Study results are published.

With thanks to the Ruddy Duck Restaurant & Bar,
Board Side, Wyberton Fen, Boston, for their
welcoming hospitality. The Ruddy Duck
offers a traditional menu of freshly prepared food -
well worth a visit. To telephone for a booking, the Ruddy Duck can be reached on 01205 362378.

With thanks to the Ruddy Duck for their welcoming hospitality, to Mark Simmonds MP and Cllr Richard Austin for their valuable time.

Boston Bypass & Economic Growth Pressure Group (BBEG)
29 September 2006

BBEG write to Mark Simmonds MP
"Whilst we realise it's good publicity to show support for successful projects in the County, the people of Boston and Skegness really need some strong grit and determination to be shown from our MP to mean business here towards Lincolnshire County Council with regards to a solution to Boston's dire traffic situation." More...
14 December 2006