Press Release - 14 February 2007
BBEG write to the Editors of the Boston Standard and the Boston Target
I write in response to the letter in the Boston Standard and the Boston Target (14 Feb) from Councillor Neil Cooper, Chairman of the Highways Policy Development Group, LCC.
He asks the question, "Would you want your county council to conduct yet another survey, costing between £300,000 and £400,000 of taxpayer's money, to possibly arrive at the same conclusion?"
A very revealing question - one which shows exactly what we have been up against for the last 2 years and 3 months of campaigning - the fact that it's a foregone conclusion, whatever we try to suggest, that Lincolnshire County Council wants to show that Boston doesn't need a bypass (or distributor road, ring-road, major road infrastructure).
It is clear that the current survey was not done with the intention of getting Boston a bypass. The wrong computer model was used for a start and if a serious case were to be made for Boston to have a major road infrastructure, it has been stated that a further survey will be required. The Post Code traffic survey that the Council insisted on using, we are reliably informed, is considered to now be both dated and inaccurate. The fact is the first survey done was the waste of taxpayer's money. If the survey had been done correctly, it would have taken into account the ASDA and Sleaford Road problems.
I would also say that I do not trust Lincolnshire County Council to carry out a further survey, based on the experiences of the last 2 years and 3 months of campaigning and my involvement with the stage-managed Stakeholder's Reference Group. I don't believe they have the necessary competence to do so, nor is the 'political will' there to permit it, and it would simply be further manipulated to suit their own agenda.
Our ongoing Formal Complaint lists the evidence of incompetence demonstrated by LCC as follows:
"The evidence speaks for itself. Only in the last few weeks you've narrowed the road from the A1 southbound into Long Bennington to six metres to make motorists 'slow down'. Long Bennington Parish Council state that as a result of this, "It's an accident waiting to happen". Don't forget the roundabout you installed in Boston that was too small for lorries to get round and had to be redone under protest (with the statement that the one installed did 'comply with government regulations'); or the temporary speed humps which ground the town centre to a standstill; then there's the computer model used that showed re-siting the Asda store in Boston and installing yet another set of traffic lights in Boston would not have any affect on traffic flows; need I go on? Have Officers at Lincolnshire County Council ever ventured out of Lincolnshire and seen how real roads are built? They seem to be obsessed with traffic lights and narrow roads. Not forgetting the silly little islands in the middle of the road (on the A17 for example) which add to the danger when trying to overtake slow moving vehicles, which are a specific feature of this County's roads."
It was announced on 13 Feb that the Council Highways Department have now undone the work carried out to narrow the slip road at Long Bennington, as they did with the mini-roundabout in Boston the other year. Another waste of taxpayer's money.
Once we find out which independent auditors and inspectors are supposed to be monitoring the performance of Officers and the decisions made by the Executive Group at LCC, we need to ensure that adequate training and experience is available to stop the continued catalogue of mistakes being made and monies being wasted.
I will finish on a positive note to you - Councillor Cooper - your comment about looking at the removal of traffic lights along John Adams Way is welcome news to my ears. The difficulty you face is convincing Richard Wills, who told us, "The traffic lights are here to stay". Good luck!
Chair, Boston Bypass & Economic Growth Pressure Group (BBEG)
14 February 2007