Boston Bypass & Economic Growth Pressure Group
 
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Lincolnshire County Council Public Consultation - 15 & 19 Jul 2006

BREAKING NEWS!
Martin Hill has stated on BBC Radio Lincolnshire on the morning of Tuesday 18 July 2006 that "Boston needs a bypass!" At last!
18 July 2006

LATEST
Exact transcript of what Cllr Hill said 1 year ago:
Click here to read the exact words broadcast.
19 July 2007


LATEST NEWS!
Click here to read the local press cuttings 19 July 2006
Local Press Cuttings 19 July 2006...


Listening Dog Tina celebrates her success!

Saturday 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.
Click here 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 for Boston.

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 technical team.

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:
BYPASS!

Switch off the traffic lights at Bargate roundabout
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 response.
(Dictionary definition of "piecemeal": Piece by piece; part at a time.)

David Woods yet to answer these further questions
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 (BBEG)
15 July 2006

Wednesday 19 July 2006 - Boston Market Place
David Woods denies the statement printed in the Boston Standard last week:
"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. It's £400,000."

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" system.

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 BYPASS
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 remember."

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 (BBEG)
19 July 2006

 

Boston Transport Strategy?
The BBEG say: "You've had our views since 1992!
Boston Transport Strategy
"The traffic lights are here to stay."
Richard Wills, Lincolnshire County Council, 14 Sept 2005.
Read the BBEG leaflet...


In The News
The BBEG's comments appeared in the Boston Target again this week under the headline "Roads study on its way (like the town traffic, it's been held up)".

The BBEG stated, "At the public meeting held in November 2004 about Boston's dire traffic situation, one of the most over-whelming comments made by the public was that something needed to be done about the number of traffic lights in the town. Richard Wills later stated at the meeting with the Leaders of both Councils that, "he knows best" and "the traffic lights are here to stay". How can one such individual have so much authority in the County and make such a final statement?".
28 June 2006
Read the article ...


Observations of a Coach Driver
Ted Brooks states, "Lincolnshire is the worst county that I drive in and I have lived there all my life ... There is very little chance to overtake safely. Even some existing wider roads are being made single file by planting concrete kerbs and bollards in the middle of the road. Is that safer?"

"What Lincoln wants, Lincoln gets. What Boston needs, Lincoln forgets."
More ...

Robert Fisher, Ted Brooks and 'Listening Dog' Tina
Robert Fisher, Ted Brooks & 'Listening Dog' Tina.
Photo courtesy of the
Boston Standard.