Lincolnshire County Council
Public Consultation - 15 & 19 Jul 2006
15 July 2006 - Boston Market Place
Cllr William Webb states:
"After today, I would be very foolish to return to LCC
and do nothing for Boston. It is clear that Boston needs both
a short term and long term solution."
BBEG then joked that if he did nothing, we'd bring a Rottweiler
next time, not a Labrador!
The BBEG were in town canvassing the public,
encouraging them to fill in the LCC form and
directing them to the LCC marquee in the
Market Place, near Boston Stump.
to read the BBEG leaflet...
WILL THE TRAFFIC LIGHTS AT BARGATE ROUNDABOUT BE SWITCHED
OFF FOR A TRIAL PERIOD AS PROMISED?
Members of all THREE pressure groups were in town on
Saturday 15 July 2006 to lobby yet again Lincolnshire
County Council Officers and Councillors for a BYPASS
Many people reported not being able to find the marquee,
which was positioned near the Stump next to the Herbert
Ingram statue. Pressure group members walked round the
town centre, encouraging people to make sure they filled
in the questionnaire (which is available in both local
newspapers this week also) and directing them to the
marquee. The marquee will be there again on Wednesday
19 July 2006 from 10am to 8pm.
BBEG member Robert Fisher, walked over to the marquee
at regular intervals with Listening Dog Tina and put
several questions throughout the day to Cllr William
Webb, who was there up until 1pm and then to the Jacobs-Babtie
Boston should be able to ask for a BYPASS
The LCC Executive Portfolio for Highways, Cllr William Webb
was asked by Robert why LCC refuse to allow Boston to ask for
a BYPASS - we've continually been told that it's better to call
it a distributor road or a ring road - why? Surely this is Martin
Hill's Executive Group preventing Boston from being developed?
Cllr Webb stated that we could call it a BYPASS if we wanted
to! What are the political connotations of the word BYPASS when
Lincoln gets TWO, and Partney, Burgh le Marsh, Skegness, Grantham,
etc. can be put forward for bypasses without a problem? Why
does Martin Hill and his Executive Group not want Boston to
have a BYPASS? Cllr Webb stated that he was only recently elected
and therefore can only answer for his actual time in office.
Where was Martin Hill who says he wants to listen to us and
is happy to appear on radio every week and has been there throughout
the years of denying Boston a decent road system? We want to
talk to you Martin ... so prove you're listening.
Total Lack of Vision by LCC
A return visit later in the day, saw Robert asking Cllr
Webb a further question:
In 1992 the document produced for the proposed bypass
then, included a photo of the route, coloured brown
and yellow. At the Dock Link Road Inquiry, the photo
used to show a supposed "Northern Bypass for Boston"
in what looked like a hastily produced document, showed
a different photo - basically the SLR and DLR schemes,
with an extra line added to the north. We are now being
shown a photo of a proposed bypass, the exact same photo
(more or less) from the 1992 proposal document. Robert
stated that this demonstrates a total lack of vision
by LCC - over a 29 year span (from 1992 to a further
15 years time for any major scheme to be possible).
What about the growth of the town to date and for the
next 15 years? What about all the European population
that Boston is now accommodating? What will things be
like in 15 years time with all the additional housing
planned in the area? We surely need to look at and allow
for Boston to grow into an area with a road infrastructure
in place around it?
Listening Dog Tina took regular visits to the
LCC marquee where she barked to them
the one word that they seem to refuse to listen to:
Switch off the traffic lights at Bargate
BBEG members Mike Borrill and Ted Brooks were also in attendance
within the marquee throughout the day. Mike Borrill discussed
the traffic light situation at Bargate roundabout which, since
Asda's move across town, is considered by the majority to be
a waste of time and contribute to the congestion. Cllr Webb
agreed to take back to LCC a suggestion of a trial period with
the traffic lights switched off. The BBEG would suggest that
all it takes is to place covers over the lights stating that
they are out of order - minimal cost, huge potential positive
results. Mike Nichols, LCC, who deals with the Traffic Signals,
confirmed that the Council "responds to need" when
putting in traffic lights and that there is "no overall
strategy or control on the number of signals."
Buses can't move around the town because
of the congestion
Robert also stated that only 2% of people use buses currently,
which as confirmed by one of the companies at the Stakeholder's
Reference Group meetings, is due to the lack of reliable bus
services because of the congestion in the town. If the road
structure was improved, bus companies would be able to put on
more scheduled and reliable services for their customers.
A BYPASS can be built in sections
William Webb confirmed on 15 July 2006 that a BYPASS could be
built in sections, so why has David Woods stated in The Boston
Standard that a bypass is a long term project and "cannot
be done piecemeal" (in sections), when this is exactly
what is happening with the Lincoln Bypass? We await an answer
from David Woods, who was not there on the day to give us his
(Dictionary definition of "piecemeal":
Piece by piece; part at a time.)
David Woods yet to answer these further
Robert also mentioned the questions that had been emailed to
David Woods by himself and Mike Borrill, which we had not yet
had a reply to after the urgent last minute meeting which took
place on Thursday 13 July 2006 at Boston Borough Council offices
between representatives of ALL THREE PRESSURE GROUPS and the
Jacobs-Babtie technical team, including David Woods. None of
the technical team there on Saturday 15 July 2006 could answer
these questions either. Interesting
that David Woods is actively promoting one of the options himself
(not the bypass option) as reported in the Boston Standard on
12 July 2006 - is this an influence by Martin Hill's Executive
Group? The additional questions are as follows:
1. With the Department for Transport major scheme
in local transport plans documentation is a reference to Guidelines
for Developing Urban Transport Strategies, The Institution of
Highways and Transportation, May 1996, which states that it:
"...provides advice on the appropriate types of models
for a range of situations". We asked whether
their choice of their Saturn system is in compliance with this
documentation and also what range of situations are actually
specified in this documentation.
2. The actual Contract between LCC and Jacobs-Babtie. Firstly
the cost of £400,000 was I thought the figure given, but
£250,000 and other figures have been bantered around,
for example. The Contract will have excluded the rat runs we
highlighted, but these were added on, but we feel did not carry
the same weight or level of investigation as the original study
specifications. What specific limitations were imposed by LCC
either in terms of cost or timescale, is another key part of
this question. (The BBEG understand
LCC have in fact spent £400,000 of tax payers money on
this Transport Strategy).
3. At the DLR Inquiry it was asked if funds could be transferred
and the answer given, by Elaine Turner if our memory is correct,
was "no". We later had correspondence with EMDA who
confirmed more or less "if asked or applied for" funds
could be transferred. Of course
the funds available from both LCC and BBC could be switched
by a decision by Martin Hill's Executive Group at LCC.
On a final note, it's an interesting observation, that someone
like Martin Hill, the Leader of LCC, who has declared a new
culture of openness and consultation at Lincolnshire County
Council, has allegedly already acquired the nickname
"The Rottweiler" within the Council.
Has the culture of bullying and intimidation as reported by
the recent Audit Commission's damning report really gone away?
We challenge the Leader of Lincolnshire County Council to face
the public who were not happy when we spoke to them on Saturday.
The Formal Complaint by the BBEG about Martin
Hill's Executive Group proceeding with the A1073 in which Jim
Speechley was jailed for 2 years, and Martin Hill was Finance
Director at the time, is ongoing and we are awaiting confirmation
from the Chief Executive whether LCC are launching their own
inquiry or the BBEG take the complaint further to the Local
Government Ombudsman. The Audit Commission have been copied
with all stages of the Formal Complaint.
Boston Bypass & Economic Growth Pressure Group
15 July 2006
19 July 2006 - Boston Market Place
David Woods denies the statement printed in the Boston Standard
"I did not say that."
Wednesday saw the second day of the LCC "public
consultation" take place in the Market Place in Boston.
Members of the BBEG returned again to town to ask more questions
to those Officers and Councillors present.
In sections or as a whole?
Robert Fisher and Michael Borrill attended the marquee during
the day and Robert first of all asked David Woods why his statement
in the Boston Standard last week (12 July) which states that
a bypass is a long term project and "cannot be done piecemeal"
(in sections), differs from what Cllr Webb told Robert on Saturday
(that a bypass could be built in sections). Robert pointed out
that this is exactly what is happening with the Lincoln Bypass?
David Woods stated simply that, "I did not say that."
He then continued, "A bypass is built as a whole, from
one end to the other."
(Dictionary definition of "piecemeal":
Piece by piece; part at a time.)
Overall cost of the Transport Strategy
Robert asked David Woods what was the cost of the Transport
Strategy Survey? David replied, "It depends what you include."
Robert said, "The whole thing - the overall cost. Is it
£400,000?" to which David confirmed, "Yes, but
it depends on what's included - it shouldn't be taken out of
context." Robert asked, "What, it's more than £400,000?"
to which David immediately replied, "Oh definitely not.
Definition of "through traffic"
Robert and Michael then spoke to Keith Barber, one of the technical
team at Jacobs-Babtie, to ask whether anyone from Boston Borough
Council had either commented on, or had input to the Transport
Strategy Study, to ensure that the definition of "through
traffic" was in agreement with their statement made by
the then Leader, Joyce Dobson, on 20 December 2004. (The original
question was raised by BBEG member Ted Brooks in 2004 at the
Full Council Meeting, who asked, "Will
the Boston Borough Council ensure that within the traffic analysis
which is to be undertaken "through traffic" is that
which either crosses the River Witham or crosses the railway
line?" The written reply by Boston Borough Council was
that, "The points made are most valid and Boston Borough
Council will seek to comment and input to the terms of reference
or brief for the County Council's study when it is published.").
Keith Barber confirmed that as far as he was aware, Boston Borough
Council had not so far commented or had an input to the definition
of "through traffic".
Computer model showed traffic movement
if Asda moved across town to have no real effect on traffic!
Robert then asked Keith Barber about the fact that the computer
model that was used to show traffic movement if Asda were to
move across town had shown no real effect on traffic! Surely
this demonstrates how computer models are different to reality
when it comes to traffic in Boston? Keith stated that he was
not involved with the analysis of the move of Asda across town
and furthermore the computer model used for the Transport Strategy
study is different to that used to show Asda's move effect on
traffic - it is the "latest available" and "recommended"
David Woods was not aware of the proposed
West Street development
Michael Borrill asked David Woods whether he was aware of the
latest West Street development, as this would surely have a
huge impact on the traffic and Transport Strategy. David Woods
confirmed that he did not know anything about it. (The BBEG
would therefore comment that surely Boston Borough Council should
be liaising closely with the Transport Strategy team at Lincoln
on such an important issue?)
Dock Link Road not part of any
Finally Robert asked David Woods to confirm if he remembered
the diagram (right) which Robert had with him, which
was the supposed "Boston Northern Bypass"
given to the Dock Link Road Inspector as part of the
Dock Link Road Inquiry? David initially said he didn't
know but then said, "It looks like it, I can't
The diagram in question, submitted to
the Dock Link Road Inspector as part of Lincolnshire
County Council's defence of the Dock Link Road scheme,
is shown here. At the DLR Inquiry, Robert asked David
Woods the following question: "Is it your understanding
that if the Dock Link Road and bridge project goes ahead,
that these will form the first part of any future so
called BYPASS? The answer given by David Woods at the
DLR Inquiry to that question was, "No, it is not."
The BBEG would therefore like to state again that the
DLR would add another set of traffic lights on Spalding
Road and direct traffic onto Skirbeck Road/Mount Bridge/Fishtoft
Road - roads totally unsuitable for such traffic volume
increases in that area predicted by LCC. Only 5% of
this traffic would actually go onto the Dock.
The supposed "Boston Northern Bypass" submitted
by Lincolnshire County Council to the DLR Inspector
at the DLR Public Inquiry in 2005
Boston Bypass & Economic Growth Pressure Group
19 July 2006