Press Release - 24 July
The BBEG present
their interpretation of the definition of "through traffic"
and their interpretation of the figures produced from the results
of the Transport Strategy
1. What is the definition
of "through traffic"?
To the people of Boston "through traffic" is that
which has to cross the River Haven and River Witham via the
Haven Bridge or Grand Sluice Bridge.
Traffic can come from anywhere from the South, West or North
into Boston up to the river and be counted as coming into Boston.
Traffic can come from anywhere from the North or East into Boston
up to the river and be counted as coming into Boston. But any
traffic which has to cross the river East to West or West to
East, however short or long a journey is, must be counted as
"through traffic", because there is no other way
of getting across the river without taking the route around
via Langrick Bridge.
Using these facts, what is the percentage of bridge crossing
traffic in relation to total traffic? (My colleague Michael
Borrill’s report below elaborates on this.)
There are 7 main roads feeding into Boston, most traffic trying
to get in and over the bridges at the same time. These are:
A16 from Spalding
B1397 from the Kirton
A52 from Grantham
A1121 from Sleaford
B1183 from Horncastle
A16 from Spilsby
A52 from Skegness
plus Skirbeck Road and Eastwood Road.
All these facts are not being taken into account by the people
conducting this survey because they do not know (or want to
know) the local geography of the area around Boston.
The question of bridge crossing traffic being counted as "through
traffic" was put to the Leader of Boston Borough Council
on the 20th December 2004, long before the Transport Study started.
The reply given 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."
Boston Bypass & Economic Growth Pressure Group (BBEG)
2. The BBEG's interpretation of
the Transport Strategy results
When the Transport Study for Boston was announced, we all thought
the congestion problems we encounter on a daily basis would
be looked at in a rational way, the volume of vehicles shown
in the counts and the visual impact to be seen would quickly
show that the town needed a robust solution not "a bit-part
From the start it was obvious that it was not to be as simple
as that. The Stakeholders Reference Group, set up to give opinions
on the way forward, could have been formed with a more representative
selection of the community who knew full well the problems associated
with Boston and not County orientated. At a meeting, Jacobs
Babtie quoted, "local people are bound to know more about
Boston and its traffic!"
At the outset an estimate of the work was obtained at £370,000
plus £20,000 for project management costs, but later a
figure of £260,000 was indicated. However the costs are
split between different factions of the study. If attention
to detail is not there due to insufficient monies being on the
table, the figures produced will not be accurate. An example
of this can be shown in that the "rat runs" were
discussed with the engineers and Michael Borrill produced a
detailed map indicating the various routes round Boston. It
took some time for cameras to be sited for one day, but not
all the roads being used were covered. This was entirely due
to the fact that Jacobs Babtie had to discuss with LCC and seek
extra funding from them.
Several other major issues were discussed, but a satisfactory
outcome has not been seen:
The consultation period has now been entered into and the data
that has been provided confirms that the postcode system is
working against Boston once again. The figure being passed around
is approximately 15% through traffic, over the Haven bridge.
This is based on the zoning system and if the Boston North Zone
is looked at, we find it extends past the railway crossing on
Sibsey Road and beyond any proposed bypass.
Having looked at the figures and the zones, and taking the
actual figures produced by Jacobs Babtie, the
estimate by the BBEG of "through traffic" that is
crossing the bridge from South to North and vice versa, is more
in the region of 75-78% on the A16 and A52 routes.
We have also been told that few vehicles travelling from the
North to South zones would use a bypass. That is an understatement.
It is also known that a large volume of vehicles, HGV’s,
tankers and private cars, now use an alternative route through
Langrick and Coningsby. A large portion of this traffic would
relocate to any proposed bypass.
Looking at Southbound destinations it is estimated that approximately
60% of traffic on the main routes could transfer to a bypass
if junctions were available at the intersections of any proposed
route. That is adding into the equation the North and South
zones etc, which are detailed as "Boston" traffic.
It is realised that these figures are only indicative, as are
the figures quoted by Jacobs Babtie. Having said this, it is
realised that Jacobs Babtie do realise the importance of "through
traffic" to give a reliable and good case for Boston,
but unfortunately, the Public Consultation document states that
"the proportion of through traffic is small".
The whole economy of the area depends greatly on the Transport
Study finding a solution to Boston’s transport nightmare.
There has to be a quick solution. It is no good saying that,
"No work be undertaken on any 'aspirational schemes' during
the period of the 2nd Local Transport Plan (LTP2)", of
which Boston is one such scheme. Lincolnshire County Council
and Boston Borough Council must get their heads together to
sort this out before the situation deteriorates further. It
has been demonstrated that this is not currently happening,
since the Transport Study team were not aware of the proposed
development in the West Street area when we spoke to them on
Wednesday (19 July 2006).
We realise that funding is a problem, but there is no reason
why a start could not be made with funds that are available
from other schemes, which we are now told, can be transferred.
Boston Bypass & Economic Growth Pressure Group (BBEG)
24 July 2006