Boston Bypass & Economic Growth Pressure Group
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Quick Summary for Busy People

Below is a quick summary of events, in chronological order, for the purpose of giving an overall background to our campaign. For more detailed information, please click here.

November 2004
Boston Target Public Meeting: 'Anne Dorrian, then Chair of the BBPG, stated four ways she believed the issue needed to be moved forward: (i) a comprehensive traffic analysis; (ii) a proper consultation with local people; (iii) full commitment from elected members who need to lobby extensively on behalf of the people they represent; (iv) a sustained and high profile campaign at the highest level to ensure that a bypass for Boston is included in the local transport plan and is prioritised by the County Council.'

Winter 2004
MP's own publication states: 'I believe Boston needs a bypass and I will do all I can to try and make this happen.'

16 June 2005
Robert Fisher writes to Boston Target: 'Councillor Powell made it clear at the Full Council meeting on 10 Dec 2004 that the Dock Link Road was going to press ahead and all the Councillors who spoke against the Southern Economic Corridor and Dock Link Road schemes were basically ignored.'
(Helpful Comment: It is felt that the building of more roads, junctions and traffic lights in the centre of Boston, rather than a bypass or relief road or distributor road, will only add to the traffic congestion there is already.)

21 July 2005
Mark Simmonds MP: 'Congestion in Boston is so bad, that a comprehensive solution, not a bit part solution, is required.'

27 October 2005
FSB write to Transport Secretary: 'Lincolnshire County Council appear to be entrenched in their view that Boston shall not have a by-pass.'

25 January 2006
Boston Target: 'Top three quit town bypass protest group (BBPG).'
The formation of Boston Bypass & Economic Growth Pressure Group (BBEG) is announced.

26 January 2006
Mike Borrill writes to Richard Wills: 'The onus is on the relevant authority to make sure the roads are in place.'

27 January 2006
The BBEG respond to LCC's announcement that the Southern Link Road is unaffordable: 'Precious time and opportunity has been wasted, by allowing Lincolnshire County Council to debate and discuss for far too long, the idiot idea of the Southern Link Road.'

07 February 2006
Robert Fisher replies to the previous week's Boston Target's Comment: 'What a shame that Lincolnshire County Council are using the excuse of a lack of funds, when the true reason will no doubt be seen within a short time.'

08 February 2006
BBEG attend FSB meeting: 'Rod Handford confirmed that the FSB would provide the BBEG with a mandate to acknowledge the formation and existence of the BBEG, and offer support as and when required. Rod also agreed to share information and represent both the FSB and the BBEG at the Stakeholders Reference Group meetings, organised by Lincolnshire County Council.'

09 February 2006
Robert Fisher writes to Richard Wills: 'Please would you be so kind as to explain to me further the exact purpose of your statement made on 19 January 2006.'
(Helpful Comment: On this occasion, Richard Wills stated, “We are doing the traffic study in Boston but have always known the results would come out after the LTP deadline.” )

10 February 2006
Elaine Turner replies to Robert Fisher's letter to Richard Wills: 'In response to Mr Fisher's email to Richard Wills of 9th February 2005 and the two statements he includes from Mr Wills and Mr Woods, both statements are in fact correct. In addition it is worth noting that a major scheme takes an average of 5-10 years between conception and delivery because of the complex legal and statutory procedures that have to be implemented.'
(Helpful Comment: The two statements made seem to contradict each other: “We are doing the traffic study in Boston but have always known the results would come out after the LTP deadline”, and “To reassure you and your colleagues, the Transport Study is progressing well and is programmed to feed into the LTP and to provide data to review a series of transport options.”)

11 February 2006
Robert Fisher writes to Elaine Turner, Client Services Manager, Lincolnshire County Council: 'At the SRG meeting you stated that it would take “typically 10 years or more to get a major transport scheme”, yet in your email yesterday you stated that “a major scheme takes an average of 5-10 years between conception and delivery”.'

21 February 2006
The BBEG write to the Editor of the Boston Standard: 'Our Member of Parliament, Councillors, the Federation of Small Businesses, and others, have accepted and acknowledged the existence of a second pressure group (the BBEG), and are supportive of us continuing. If Lincolnshire County Council needs 10 pressure groups to get them to listen to the voices of the people of Boston, then so be it!' Aerial photos: click here.

22 February 2006
Michael Borrill writes to Quentin Davies MP: 'It has been suggested to us that the whole of the A52 should be upgraded to take account of the increased traffic flows and in view of the lack of motor way or dual carriageway roads leading from the East of the County we feel in this area that we have been sadly let down by political decisions and bad planning for many years and deserve a better road structure. Perhaps, Mr Davies, you would like to liaise with our MP for Boston and Skegness, Mark Simmonds, who is well aware of the dire traffic problems in the Boston area.'

27 February 2006
BBEG attend Full Council Meeting of BBC: 'When protest groups suggested relocating the SLR to form a part of the yearned for bypass, this was rejected without any consideration. She (Cllr Wright) is now suggesting re-routing. If she supports it now, can she honestly tell us why she opposed it in the past?' Read the Questions: click here.

01 March 2006
Robert Fisher writes to Cllr Martin Hill, Leader LCC: 'What has happened to the allocated rate payers’ money that was going towards the Southern Link Road?' Read the letter: click here.

02 March 2006
Brian Rush speaks on BBC Radio Lincolnshire: 'A lot of Lincolnshire vegetables are distributed round the whole country - these roads that pass through Boston are helping to feed the mouths of the UK population.' More ...

02 March 2006
BBEG writes to Head of Planning, Boston Borough Council: 'Within the traffic modelling being done, I understand that these developments are being considered on an individual basis. When Lincolnshire County Council Highways are asked to comment, they do so on each one individually, do they not?' More ...

15 March 2006
Cllr Richard Austin resigns from BBPG: 'I resigned from the BBPG last week purely so that I could join fully in the debate about the Boston Bypass issues in the Council Chamber without the solicitors breathing down my neck. I also hope it means that I can also fully support BBEG efforts and will be invited to any appropriate meetings of both groups.'
BCCI claims car park usage is up in town: 'Car parks were 10.7% up (9300 extra) on the previous.' BBEG response is to state that: 'The Asda car park has closed, so people cannot park for 2 hours free and walk into the town centre any longer.'

16 March 2006
The MoD back the campaign against Waddington bypass route through the village: 'Residents want the authority to look at an alternative option, which is known as 'Corridor Three'. This goes further to the east of the village. Their campaign has now been backed by the MoD.'

18 March 2006
Dock Link Road Inquiry: Dock Link Road Bridge Scheme 2004 to go ahead: 'Inspector states that, "The local transport infrastructure is seen as a significant weakness in the continued economic growth of the town and is a major discouraging factor in the Borough's ability to attract inward investment." '

22 March 2006
Martin Hill replies to BBEG: 'The County Council has listened to the people of Boston and abandoned the Southern Economy Corridor Route ... you are incorrect to state that Boston Bypass is not mentioned in the second local transport plan ... there is much work to do and I welcome your support in doing that.' Read the letter: click here.

28 March 2006
Robert Fisher replies to Martin Hill on behalf of the BBEG: 'If you do actually listen to the people of Boston, and deliver what is actually wanted, I will personally make sure that full credit, where credit is due, is attributed to Lincolnshire County Council and yourself as Leader of the Council. The LCC Executive Decision which became effective on 15 February 2006 states that Boston is to be included in an aspirational list and that no work be undertaken on any aspirational schemes during the LTP2 period because they are "unlikely to be of such regional importance that they would gain regional backing for central government funding".' Read the letter: click here.

29 March 2006
Quentin Davies MP replies to the BBEG: 'I quite agree with you that the A52 should be upgraded and I will certainly speak to Mark Simmonds about this as you suggest.'

08 April 2006
FSB write to the Lincolnshire Echo: 'Since 1998, the county council has claimed that ‘removing road traffic from communities’ is a ‘main area for action’ and, indeed, has made this a priority. Not, unfortunately, for Boston, whose sorry plight led to a journalist (Peter Levy of BBC TV’s Look North) to comment: “Boston will die without a bypass to ease congestion.” ... From county council leader Martin Hill, the silence of his response to us is deafening. And while the sun continues to rise to its zenith over Lincoln, it will set on Boston.' Read the letter: click here.

12 April 2006
BBEG member Ted Brooks makes front page news of the Boston Standard, commenting about the 10 speed humps placed down South Street in Boston's town centre: 'Is LCC trying to close our town centre with all the obstacles they are putting in the way?' Steve Willis, LCC, stated: 'We thought the humps would do the right job but it quickly became apparent we had put too many down. The intention was to slow traffic in that area, but we didn't anticipate the level of congestion.'

02 May 2006
BBEG make a Formal Complaint to Lincolnshire County Council: 'The BBEG would like to see a full independent Inquiry into the decision to continue with the A1073 in its current unchallenged state, following the conviction of Mr Speechley, and the inclusion of the A1073 in the 2nd Local Transport Plan above that of more urgent road infrastructures.'

10 May 2006
FSB survey shows 97.5% of businessmen and women who took part in the survey wanted a bypass for Boston.

15 May 2006
BBEG members attend LCC Highways PDG meeting: 'The A1073 is split into two regions - East Midlands funding and schedule was currently for a 2007 start, whereas East of England region funding and schedule would not be until 2011.'

23 May 2006
BBEG take Formal Complaint to LCC to Stage 2 - Referral: 'Our formal complaint mentioned very clearly that Cllr Hill was in fact, we believe, Finance Chairman at the time (despite his recent comments in the May 2006 edition of County News) and he proceeded to get elected an entirely new executive from his own same political party. We understand that the whole current cabinet were supporting Mr Speechley as Councillors. Your letter of 12 May 2006 does not address any of the above important points at all.'

07 June 2006
BBEG write again to LCC: 'We have not received any response to date, which according to your Complaints Process, we should have either received a further reply or would have been informed of the progress being made within 10 working days of our letter?'

08 June 2006
BBEG highlight omissions from the Highways PDG Meeting Minutes: 'Why does Lincolnshire County Council continue to ignore the wishes of the public, and even the views of the Councillors elected by the public to represent them, as we witnessed over several issues at the meeting?'

11 June 2006
BBEG issue an exclusive press release: 'Cllr Neil Cooper, Chair of the Highways PDG at Lincolnshire County Council, has written an email to the BBEG, stating that, "It is unfair to criticise the council when in many ways their hands are tied and it is difficult to demonstrate the need to government when traffic surveys show much of the traffic is intending to terminate at Boston and not pass through! These are words that you probably do not wish to hear and you may feel the Council are not listening but I can assure you we are very aware of the issues and the public pressure.''' Read the press release: click here.

14 June 2006
Mark Simmonds MP writes to BBEG: 'I note with much disappointment and annoyance that I have yet to receive a response from the East Midlands Regional Assembly on this matter and with this in mind I have today written, yet again, in order to expedite a reply on your behalf.' Read the letter: click here.

20 June 2006
BBEG take their Formal Complaint against LCC to Stage 3 - a Review by the Chief Executive: 'Mr Wills’ letter does not address the fact that Cllr Hill proceeded to get elected a new executive from his own same political party at all. We continue to be concerned that decisions are being made by members of the executive, even individual members on occasion, and that whatever councillors do to put forward the views of the public they represent, Lincolnshire County Council, it seems, continues to press ahead with its own “will”, political or otherwise.' Read the letter: click here.

22 June 2006
LCC "Public Consultation" information received by BBEG: 'Public consultation of the Boston Transport Strategy will commence in July 2006. During this time over 5,000 survey questionnaires will be sent out with a consultation period ending 11th August 2006. Public events are also being held in a specially erected marquee in the Market Place on Saturday 15th July and Wednesday 19th July. In advance of the public consultation Members and Senior Officers of both the County Council and the Borough Council are invited to a briefing on Thursday 6th July.'

27 June 2006
BBEG attend Waddington parish Public Meeting: 'Cllr Martin Hill agrees to carry out further comparative investigations on the John Marriott 'Option 3' route.' More...

28 June 2006
BBEG comment in the Boston Target: 'It's what happens after the public consultation that is the important factor. Do they really mean a consultation or is it an exercise to tell us what they will/will not be doing? How can one such individual as Richard Wills have so much authority in the County and make such a final statement as "he knows best" and "the traffic lights are here to stay"?' More...

04 July 2006
BBEG enlist the help of Listening Dog "Tina": 'The Boston Bypass & Economic Growth Pressure Group (BBEG) have enlisted the help of "Tina" to try to get Lincolnshire County Council to listen to voices of reason. Come and meet Tina in the Market Place, Boston on Saturday 15th July 2006.' More...

05 July 2006
BBEG write to David Woods, Project Manager LCC/Jacobs-Babtie: 'Cllr Martin Hill agreed that he would do his best to ensure that all public consultations would have reports placed on the LCC website in advance of date of the public consultation.'

06 July 2006
East Midlands Regional Assembly: ' 'Boston Southern Economic Corridor' was among the schemes drawn from the RSS and included in the assessment, but it did not, on this occasion, emerge as one of the 30-odd schemes that were included in the regional Advice passed to Ministers at the end of January 2006. Schemes in Lincolnshire that did were: A1073 Spalding - Eye, A158 Burgh By-Pass and Lincoln Eastern By-Pass.'

07 July 2006
BBEG write again to LCC: 'Further to our letter to you dated 20 June 2006, we have not received any response from you at all. We are therefore writing again to inform you that if we do not receive a reply to our letter by the 13 July 2006, we will then have no option but to write to the Local Government Ombudsman in York, in accordance with your Complaint Policy.'

12 July 2006
BBEG comment in Boston Target: 'We keep coming up against a brick wall - all sides blame each other. Shout with one voice: Bypass!' More...

15 July 2006
All THREE pressure groups lobby Lincolnshire County Council at their "public consultation" in town. More...

24 July 2006
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: '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.' More...

28 July 2006
On Friday 28 July 2006, the BBC Radio Lincolnshire Breakfast Show's text vote around the county showed that 81% of people in Lincolnshire who voted, thought Boston the most deserving of a bypass. Lincoln received 15% of the votes and Skegness and Stamford 2% each.

31 July 2006
BBEG write to Martin Hill: 'Having seen how well the Joint Advisory Committee (JAC) for the Lincoln Area performs, we are writing to ask if one has been set up for the Boston Area and if not, asking if you could consider setting one up on the same basis as the Lincoln Area.'

01 August 2006
BBEG write to the Editor of the Boston Target: 'We hope to never see such a headline as “Let’s not rush for a bypass!” again. It’s over to you Councillors Hill and Webb.'

03 August 2006
BBEG also write to Cllr Mary Wright: 'We note that a Joint Advisory Committee (JAC) is in operation for Lincoln comprised of Cllr's from Lincolnshire County Council, City of Lincoln, North Kesteven, West Lindsey Councils, together with representatives from EMDA and the Environment Agency. A letter has recently been sent to Cllr Martin Hill asking if a JAC could be set up for Boston but we have not yet had the courtesy of a reply.'

03 August 2006
BBEG take Formal Complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman: 'Lincolnshire County Council should not be allowed to proceed with the A1073 in light of the events surrounding Mr Speechley and escalating costs. Lincolnshire County Council to date have refused to prioritise Boston for a bypass and the decision makers (LCC Executive Group) were hand picked by Martin Hill, Leader of LCC, from his own same political party, following the resignation of the former group as a result of the Audit Commission’s damning report last year. The Audit Commission have been copied with all stages of our group’s Formal Complaint. The Council have ignored Boston and delayed the issue long enough now. An external investigation needs to occur into why LCC have never requested funding from the Government for a bypass for Boston and moreover why they have put Boston on an “aspirational list” and decided that “no work be undertaken on any aspirational schemes during the 2nd Local Transport Plan period”, if we are to ever find a way forward.' More...

03 August 2006
Elaine Turner writes to the BBEG to answer the questions asked to David Woods: 'Whilst it is technically possible to build a bypass of Boston in stages, there are other reasons, primarily funding, why it would be easier to build it in one go.'

06 August 2006
Robert Fisher replies to Elaine Turner: 'At the Dock Link Road Inquiry, you told the Inquiry Inspector that funds could not be transferred. Your letter now states, “…if the monies were to be transferred…” Surely this highlights inaccuracies in what was said at the Dock Link Road Inquiry and demonstrates once again how Lincolnshire County Council have wasted valuable time in finding a solution to Boston’s urgent traffic congestion? We state again that Lincoln bypasses are being built in sections. The issue here is quite clearly you have one rule for Lincoln and another for Boston. This is simply not acceptable to us. A copy of this letter will be given to the Local Government Ombudsman, who has assured us that an investigator will be assigned as soon as possible.'

10 August 2006
BBEG receive a letter from MP: 'If you had heard my radio interview on 15 July on BBC Radio Lincolnshire you will have heard me express my reservations about the report (transport infrastructure briefing) and the necessity for officials to answer the very pertinent questions. It may be sensible after the summer holidays for me to attend one of your meetings to discuss where we go from here.' Read the letter...

25 August 2006
BBEG write to Elaine Turner: 'In a letter to the BBEG on 3 August 2006 you stated about Boston that: "SATURN is recognised by the DfT as an appropriate technique for traffic modelling and scheme assessment and has been used for many years by consultants and local authorities as one of the "industry standard" modelling tools." Yet in the Highways PDG Report for Lincoln Traffic Model for the meeting in September 2006 you state: "...even if the SATURN Model were to be updated, there would still remain the shortfalls and limitations discussed earlier in this report, which in the longer term, could weaken the County Council's ability to convince government of the need to bring forward transport improvements in the Lincoln area." Does this not highlight that firstly our concerns about the validity of the Transport Strategy findings for Boston are justified and that secondly once again there is one rule for Lincoln and another for Boston?'

03 September 2006
BBEG write to local press: 'Once again we are seeing a conflict between Boston Borough Council and Lincolnshire County Council ... Unfortunately, Lincolnshire County Council's Highways Dept opposed a planning application to build in Whitehorse Lane on the grounds of access but the planning application was passed by the Borough Council, even after Cllr Mary Wright had said, "We have got to take account of what LCC says". '

04 September 2006
BBEG write to Cllr William Webb: 'You stated that you would look at turning off the traffic lights at Bargate roundabout as one of the short term solutions. ... Does this mean that you have in fact returned to LCC and done nothing for Boston? Or perhaps have you been prevented from doing so by someone? We look forward to receiving your response and explanation.'

05 September 2006
BBEG reply to Elaine Turner: 'We queried the use of the SATURN model when the Boston Transport Study commenced, as we understood a more suitable model was available. If you knew at that time of this model, why was it not used? The ability of SATURN to accurately model traffic flows at individual junctions or other local impacts are less accurate. Surely this is a major requirement for the abundance of traffic lights in the area John Adams Way, Sleaford Road, area of Boston?'

06 September 2006
BBEG write again to Cllr Mary Wright: 'Have you mentioned the possibility of a Joint Advisory Committee (JAC) for Boston to help to push forward the aims of our town? '

07 September 2006
BBEG are to continue the pressure on Martin Hill's Executive Group at LCC and would encourage anyone who feels passionately that something must be done for Boston who would like to become a Boston Bypass Independent candidate for election to Boston Borough Council next year, to contact Cllr Richard Austin either by telephone on 01205 368351 or by email.

08 September 2006
BBEG receive a letter from Cllr Mary Wright regarding our suggestion of a Joint Advisory Committee (JAC) for Boston: 'I have asked Cllr Hill to copy me with any response which may be forthcoming.' Read the letter...

19 September 2006
BBC Magazine Boston Matters Autumn 2006: 'The initial review of responses would point to the majority of responses stating that the bypass was their preferred solution to the congestion in the town.'

24 September 2006
BBEG reply to Cllr Hill's letter: 'We ask you sincerely to reconsider your decision about a JAC and thank you once again for taking the time to respond to us and for reassuring us that you welcome our input and we will willingly work towards making Boston a better place. To this end, we would welcome a discussion with yourself and Councillor William Webb, after the Transport results are announced to see a way forward and we would gladly meet at Newland if you see fit.'

26 September 2006
Robert Fisher writes to the Editor of the Boston Target: 'It is precisely for this reason – an attitude of we’re doing everything right, here are the figures to prove it – that has landed Boston in the situation it finds itself in, year upon year. Whilst I realise that Councillors have to follow the advice of Officers and the Council’s legal department, unless Councillor Bakewell takes his head out of the sand, we’re going nowhere.'

29 September 2006
BBEG meet with Mark Simmonds MP: '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." Local agreement has not been reached between the Councils. It also appears 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.' More...

01 October 2006
BBEG ask the local people of Bourne (Folkingham Rural) about Martin Hill's performance. The Bourne Forum...

03 October 2006
BBEG write to the local press: 'The October issue of the "County News" asks for views on the Southern Bypass for Lincoln.' More...

06 October 2006
LCC confirm the Council is now in breach of the legislation under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. The BBEG have asked them to confirm firstly the total cost of the recent Boston Transport Study (including the additional "rat runs" that were added later) and secondly what restrictions/limitations had been decided upon and imposed by Lincolnshire County Council and by whom specifically. More...

12 October 2006
BBEG reply to the Information Compliance Officer at LCC: 'The statement made that in respect of restrictions/limitations, there were 'none imposed' is not correct.' More...

17 October 2006
BBEG write to the Editor of the Boston Standard: 'I would like to say that the only reason his letter may appear bland, is because those Borough Councillors trying to do something about Boston's dire traffic situation are having to repeat again and again that something is wrong and must be sorted out. I would invite Cllr Tony Austin to contribute to the meeting we will hopefully have soon with the Local Government Ombudsman. Cllr Tony Austin was elected by the people of Boston in his constituency to represent them. Why is he not able to do so with regard to this particular issue?' More...

20 October 2006
Following the claim made this week by all elected Members of Boston Borough Council that, "all four parties are united in the need for a bypass", the BBEG have written to Cllr John Rylatt, in an attempt to make public the facts behind all the "sound bites". Read the letter...

27 October 2006
BBEG write to David Cameron MP: 'Have we a democracy or not? ... We would therefore welcome your support in asking for an open and honest investigation to occur at Lincolnshire County Council into the events of the last few years with regards to decisions made about Boston's road situation and how it has been dealt with by Martin Hill's Executive Group at Lincolnshire County Council.' Read the letter...

31 October 2006
BBEG highlight a catalogue of errors and delays shown in the documentation released under the Freedom of Information Act from Lincolnshire County Council. Boston deserves better. Read the report...

03 November 2006
BBEG write to the Acting Monitoring Officer at LCC: 'We believe Martin Hill is misleading the public by stating as he did on BBC Radio Lincolnshire’s Breakfast Show on 31 October 2006 that, “If we are unsuccessful with the Government, we can look at ways we can spend £6 million...” As far as we are aware, no funding has ever been requested from the Government. We look forward to hearing what action you will be taking before taking the matter up with the Standards Board.' Read the letter...

16 November 2006
Michael Borrill writes to the Editors of the local press: 'The facts and figures quoted by Robert are the very ones that have been passed around to the media by Cllr Hill and his team at County Hall. ... What a terrible waste of both tax payers’ money and valuable time.' Read the letter...

19 November 2006
BBEG issue a statement: 'The Boston Bypass & Economic Growth Pressure Group have had a very busy few weeks recently entering into correspondence with several government authorities and politicians. David Cameron has no say in the Council's operation or running. The Councillors are democratically elected public servants and are subject to review by independent auditors and inspectors. The Local Government Act 1974 says that the Ombudsman shall not investigate a complaint that concerns something that affects all or most of the inhabitants of the area of the council involved. We would ask 'Who is actually auditing and inspecting the LCC Executive and Officers and thereby looking after the interests of the people in Boston?' ' More...

22 November 2006
BBEG reply to the Government Office for the East Midlands: 'We would like to ask you how you can make the statement that you understand the various studies undertaken by Lincolnshire County Council have concluded that a bypass for Boston would not be value for money and consequently the County Council has not made a bid for Government funding for such a scheme, when:

  • no economic study has been done for Boston, to be able to support your statement;
  • the results of the Transport Study have been delayed and delayed and have not yet been discussed at the LCC Highways Policy Development Group meetings?'

BBEG also write to Martin Hill, Leader Lincolnshire County Council: 'On 15 November 2006 in the Boston Standard, with regard to Boston's road situation, you stated that no decision has yet been made and we have to await the final outcome of the traffic survey before a formal decision is made. However, we received a letter today from Mr I Marshall, representing Transport at the Government Office for the East Midlands, who states that he understands that the various studies undertaken by Lincolnshire County Council have concluded that a bypass for Boston would not be value for money and consequently the County Council has not made a bid for Government funding for such a scheme. Which is the truth? Who made this decision without an economic assessment of Boston being carried out?'

25 November 2006
BBEG write to LCC and the Information Commissioner: 'Does this not clearly demonstrate deliberate exclusion of the majority of the public's responses who want a bypass? We are becoming increasingly concerned as more and more of this saga unfolds. The Information Commissioner's Office wrote to us on the 15 November 2006 and have assigned a Case Reference Number ENQ0139466. We will be copying our further request for information below to them, raising our increasing concerns and requesting they look into this as a matter of urgency.' Read the letter...

28 November 2006
BBEG respond to the letter from all elected Members BBC, Boston Target/Boston Standard, 22 Nov 2006: 'Their letter claims that Boston Borough has ensured the Transport Study is as accurate a picture as possible of the traffic problems the town is facing. What utter 'recycled' rubbish! I believe the Borough Council has allowed Martin Hill and his Executive Group to bombastically press ahead with his own prioritisation for the County. Their final paragraph states that decisions are taken by the highways authority in this case Lincolnshire County Council of which Cllr Richard Austin is a member. Let me correct that statement - decisions are taken by Martin Hill and his Executive Group, of which Cllr Richard Austin is not a member.'

02 December 2006
BBPG, BBEG & BBI Candidate reply to Cllr Raymond Singleton-McGuire: 'We are simply not going to repeat again and again our responses to the same old sorry tale. Our fellow Bostonians can clearly see what is happening here. The only one fact that Cllr Singleton-McGuire needs to understand is that our respective groups have all been formed over time for a reason. What does he think that reason is? It is certainly not because the Borough Council is doing such a good job, is it?' Read the letter...

04 December 2006
BBEG attend Highways PDG: 'Following the obvious push towards a distributor road by the Council, BBEG Chairman Robert Fisher was interviewed by local radio stations Lincs FM and BBC Radio Lincolnshire. Statements at the meeting by Cllr Richard Austin included: "Lives of Boston people are blighted by congestion. This report makes no firm recommendation. The Transport Study is seriously flawed. We must identify the corridor (route) of any distributor road as soon as possible. An economic study must be carried out for Boston within the Vision Report. Boston has suffered years of gridlock and is strangled by traffic lights." ' More...

06 December 2006
BBEG make further formal complaint against LCC: 'Officers are reporting in their documentation, as well as announcing in the local media, that the public are confused about the terminology. Yet it was evident from the Highways PDG Meeting on Monday 4 December 2006, where you proudly displayed the four main objectives of the Lincoln Southern 'Bypass', which clearly state that the purpose of the road is to allow the city to expand and develop, that it's not the public who are confused at all. No mention of through traffic; no mention of congestion. We believe the public are in fact being manipulated here.' More...

12 December 2006
BBEG reply to Cllr Gilchrist's letter to the Editor of the Boston Target: 'Why has Cllr Gilchrist not been lobbying Martin Hill to allow a councillor from Boston who actually supports a bypass for Boston to be a part of his Executive Group, as this is such an important issue? The answer - because 'local agreement has not been reached'.' More...

14 December 2006
The BBPG and the BBEG would like to announce a Public Meeting to be held on Monday 29 January 2007 at 7.00pm at the Haven High Technology College. More...

14 December 2006
BBEG received letter from GOEM and reply: 'We have noted carefully that since 1993 to 1998 - 5 years - Lincolnshire County Council did nothing to progress a 'full bypass' Boston, as in their view, it would 'substantially weaken the case'. We fully intend to pursue the issue directly with Lincolnshire County Council.' More...

14 December 2006
BBEG write to Mark Simmonds MP: 'You will do all you can to push for a bypass for Boston?' More...

26 December 2006
BBEG write to the Information Commissioners Office, reply to the LCC Formal Complaint Stage 2 and Robert Fisher replies to Cllr Gilchrist: 'My own opinion is that what is clear is the fact that Martin Hill’s Executive Group and Officers at Lincolnshire County Council have got away with manipulation and control for many years and up until now, have been allowed to. Your seven county councillors obviously either accepted this fact or tried and failed to change it?'

02 January 2007
BBEG write to the Acting Monitoring Officer for a second time: 'We would disagree and as a matter of urgency, request that the independent auditors and inspectors who are supposed to be monitoring the decisions made by Officers and the Executive Group of LCC call a halt to these proceedings with immediate effect.' More...

03 January 2007
BBEG write to Cllr Cooper, Chair Highways PDG: 'Once again there are omissions from the comments made that we witnessed: Lives of Boston people are blighted by congestion. This report makes no firm recommendation. The Transport Study is seriously flawed. We must identify the corridor (route) of any distributor road as soon as possible. An economic study must be carried out for Boston within the Vision Report. Boston has suffered years of gridlock and is strangled by traffic lights. Having listened to the debate about Boston, Lincoln would be better served by a distributor road. What reduction in cost would be achieved if Lincoln Southern bypass was downgraded to a distributor road?' More...

05 January 2007
BBPG & BBEG hold a Joint Press Conference: 'We appeal therefore to the Members of the Highways PDG, the LCC Executive and Boston Borough Council to reject the recommendation to improve the A16/A52 main roads and to recommend an examination of the feasibility of building the first part of a major road scheme. We also make the following appeal directly to Cllr Martin Hill: “This is your last chance to show that Lincolnshire County Council is listening, Cllr Hill. The only solution to resolve Boston’s dire traffic congestion is a major road scheme.”  ' More...

08 January 2007
BBEG attend Highways PDG Meeting and comment on Cllr cooper's comments as Chair of the Highways PDG: 'These remarks, far from being impartial, as any Chairman should be, were crushing, gratuitous and political, and as such, I consider them to be unacceptable. Especially as Cllr Cooper had tried to earlier emphasise that the Highways PDG was not political!' More...

10 January 2007
BBEG write to Acting Monitoring Officer after Executive Decision: 'Please could you explain why the Highways PDG meeting discussions or recommendations were never mentioned at the Executive Group meeting. It was evident that this Executive Decision was made without hearing any recommendations from the Highways PDG meeting the day before, nor without any of the facts and detailed data upon which such an important decision for Boston should be made.' More...

11 January 2007
BBEG reply to Acting Monitoring Officer: 'Firstly, we do not understand the logic behind your remarks that the Highways PDG is only advisory and does not make decisions. Secondly, the letter from Christine Basu was posted directly (and personally) to Cllr Hill and then sent later to the press shortly after he took office and I attach a copy of it here for your information. Thirdly, my email of 19 December 2006 was sent with the intention of seeking an answer to the question, "Which independent auditors and inspectors are supposed to be monitoring the decisions made by Officers and Executive Group at Lincolnshire County Council?" ' More...

12 January 2007
BBEG have requested further information/explanation under the Freedom of Information Act from LCC: 'Mentioning a meeting with the pressure groups is not appropriate as we are not bidding for a contract. Lincolnshire County Council have stated that no Joint Officer Group meeting took place on 24 May 2006 - we don't believe this is the truth. We believe we are only being given documentation you want us to see.' More...

18 January 2007
BBEG reply to Mark Simmonds MP: 'We have been working on the assumption that our MP wanted a bypass – because you said so, just after the last Public Meeting in 2004. Perhaps you can work with us and tell us what these private meetings and discussions have been about? But I can tell you, Mr Simmonds, the people of Boston have had enough.' More...

29 January 2007
Boston Bypass Pressure Groups held their Joint Public Meeting - the Public voted for the groups to continue their fight for a major road infrastructure and to object to the short term measures by calling for a Public Inquiry. No Referendum will be held - the important vote on the bypass issue will be the local elections in May 2007. More...

30 January 2007
BBEG write further to Lincolnshire County Council about the lack of response to our questions asked under the Freedom of Information Act. More...

05 February 2007
BBEG take Formal Complaint to Stage 3: 'When the safety and practicalities of this were questioned, the Officer stated that Lincoln had in fact got a railway crossing with 3 lanes. We believe this not to be the case (as shown by our photographs) and that the Scrutiny Management Committee were mislead - in fact have been lied to by Officers. ... We are therefore going to alert the Health & Safety Executive and the Office of Rail Regulation about our concerns. ... How is this conducive to promoting pedestrianisation? On the grounds of Health & Safety alone, we are extremely concerned about the direction the Officers of Lincolnshire County Council are taking with regard to the roads, and hence the economy of Boston.'
Read the full letter...

07 February 2007
BBEG receive further information under the FOI Act: 'Missing Joint Officer Group Minutes do exist and state "SATURN testing results show all the highway improvement options have hardly any effect on flows on the main A16/A52 roads" ' More...

09 February 2007
BBEG write to the Information Commissioner's Office: 'David Cameron's Office told us that Lincolnshire County Council are subject to inspection by independent auditors and inspectors, but so far, not one such organisation has or is willing to go in and inspect the Council.' More...

11 February 2007
BBEG write to Martin Hill: 'As you are aware, your Executive Group announced on 8 February 2007 that Lincolnshire County Council is leading the way on environmental good practice by introducing its own policy which covers all aspects of activities and business. How exactly are you reducing pollution in these areas of high concern in Boston? The fact is that the rest of the county feel Boston is deserving of a bypass (or major road/distributor road/ring road), in fact is a priority, but you, your hand picked Executive (including the elected representative for Spalding East and Moulton) and Officers at the County Council are determined to prevent this from progressing. I can’t imagine how the people of Spalding would feel knowing that one of their elected representatives puts the needs of other counties before Boston – a town in his own county of Lincolnshire. Why are you so dead set against helping Boston?' More...

12 February 2007
Robert Fisher writes to Mark Simmonds MP: 'I thank you once again for agreeing to take our pressure groups' petition to Parliament, but I would suggest that I feel the biggest challenge you face personally, is tackling the decades of neglect of Boston by Lincolnshire County Council. Parliament, I would suggest by comparison, will follow on, once we all have managed to move this huge mountain that is getting, and has got in the way, for so long now.' More...

14 February 2007
BBEG write to Councillor Neil Cooper: '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.' More...

21 February 2007
BBEG write to the Standards Board: 'I write on behalf of the Boston Bypass & Economic Growth Pressure Group (BBEG) in connection with a complaint we wish to make about the following Councillors and Officers of Lincolnshire County Council, who we believe have broken the Code of Conduct by demonstrating the following behaviour during the last 2 years and 3 months of our campaigning for a major road infrastructure for our town of Boston in Lincolnshire.' More...

23 February 2007
BBEG receive a reply from Cllr Hill and write back: 'I suggest you come next week when there will be so many roads closed in Boston, you will be able to see for yourself the severity of these problems. Please take your head out of the sand.' More...

26 February 2007
BBEG submit a second Formal Complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman: 'Lincolnshire County Council should be lobbying Parliament for funding and making Boston a priority, above yet another bypass for Lincoln. Lincoln does not have anywhere near the traffic and congestion problems of Boston.' More...

10 March 2007
Robert Fisher replies to Stephen Wyatt's letter: 'Richard Austin cannot challenge the decisions made by the Borough and County Councils alone. His honesty and integrity is unquestioned, as confirmed by Cllr William Webb at recent meetings...'

13 March 2007
BBEG write to the Prime Minister: 'Boston is gridlocked as a result of a lack of a suitable bridge on the outskirts of the town. The economic viability of South Lincolnshire is being affected by this lack of support for the area. The air quality and pollution levels are not being taken into account. The approximate funding of £20 million earmarked for Boston has been taken away, leaving approximately £2.5 million being spent by LCC on a ridiculous road widening scheme within the town – another John Adams Way disaster, but this time with a bottleneck provided by the town’s railway crossing slap bang in the middle of it. We are extremely concerned about the safety of such a road widening proposal.' More...

14 March 2007
BBEG media video is underway - view video clips online. Be sure to check back regularly. More...

22 March 2007
BBEG receive a letter from 10 Downing Street: 'Your letter has been forwarded to the Communities and Local Government Department.' More...

27 March 2007
BBEG write further to Mark Simmonds MP: 'It is most disturbing to learn that Entrepreneurial Activity in Boston is low and indeed, falling, yet in South Kesteven it is high and growing. One can only assume that the reason behind this negative development for Boston, considering we are more or less neighbours, is due to the fact of a less than adequate road infrastructure. Gross Value Added (GVA) in Lincolnshire has been increasing at a lower rate than elsewhere and the gap in GVA per head is being fuelled by both a slower rise in total value and a faster rise in the size of the population being supported. It does appear, therefore, that Boston and South Lincolnshire are inadequately funded and it may be that as we are now about to enter the same economic similarities of the Highlands of Scotland there may be scope to approach the EU for support to bring our infrastructure in line with others.'

29 March 2007
BBEG receive a reply from Network Rail: 'We are aware of the changes proposed by the Highway Authority ... and have a meeting arranged with Her Majesty's Railway Inspectorate in late April to discuss these proposals.'
Read the letter...

05 April 2007
BBEG receive letter from Tony McArdle, Chief Executive LCC on 04 April: 'I would therefore ask you to confirm, by 10am on Tuesday 10th April, what steps you will take to publicise the fact that the Standards Board and the Independent Review have concluded that your allegations are not substantiated. In the event that I have not received such confirmation from you by that time I will make the arrangements that I believe to be necessary to protect the reputation of the Council and its officers.'
BBEG reply on 05 April: 'We welcome any open and honest dialogue and discussion to resolve the desperate situation that Boston now finds itself in, and had this been forthcoming previously, the current situation would not have been reached. It is noted that our group was not contacted for any input at all ... we would therefore ask how this can be considered a comprehensive investigation when it appears to be one-sided?' Read both letters...

06 April 2007
Ted Brooks writes to the Chief Executive of LCC: 'In reply to your letter to our group of 04 April 2007, I can only apologise for knowing the issues that affect the people of Boston on a daily basis and for trying to bring them to the attention of the Councillors and Officers who make the decisions at Lincolnshire County Council. I look forward to meeting you at our proposed meeting, but would also like to give you a tour of Boston to show you the problems we face.'

06 April 2007
BBEG write to Cllr Horace Battram: 'In Issue 3 of "Boston Matters", the Boston Borough Council's own publication, you wrote as follows...' Read the letter...

07 April 2007
The BBEG has been asked to include a press release by the BBI on our website. We are happy to help promote any individual or group that has shown itself to be committed to the cause of pushing for a major road scheme for Boston. Read the BBI's Press Release...

12 April 2007
BBEG receive a letter from the Local Government Ombudsman who will contact us within the next four weeks.

28 April 2007
The BBEG will place a full list of results of the local elections in May 2007 for Boston on our website. More...

04 May 2007
The BBI take over Boston Borough Council. More...

09 May 2007
BBEG receive a reply from Mark Simmonds MP: 'You are absolutely correct in your analysis that the inadequate road infrastructure around Boston is hindering the town's development and is having a negative impact upon the performance of Boston as people are less willing to travel to Boston for shopping and other services.' Read the letter...

10 May 2007
BBEG Statement: 'The Boston Bypass & Economic Growth Pressure Group (BBEG) recently initiated a complaint against several individual Councillors and Officers of Lincolnshire County Council at the suggestion of the Local Government Ombudsman. This complaint was investigated by the Standards Board and by a retired Chief Executive of a neighbouring County. Both have found in favour of Lincolnshire County Council, despite no contact being made with our group to put our side of the case and respond to the questions raised by the reports. We therefore have no choice but to meet the Council's request to apologise to those individuals concerned.'

14 May 2007
Robert Fisher writes an article for publication in the "New Civil Engineer": 'As just one of the many bypass campaigners and supporters in Boston, here is my own personal reflection on what has been achieved so far...' Read the article...

17 May 2007
BBEG receive a letter from Mark Simmonds MP and send a reply: 'We are delighted that you have taken the time to read the articles written, in particular the one published in the "New Civil Engineer" this week, which I understand has a readership of some 30% local authority engineers, together with 40% consultants who produce reports for these local authorities. We genuinely want to see some progress and hope that we are not about to encounter a "digging in of heels" to attempt to prove us all wrong, but rather embrace the newly elected Borough Council and all work together - open and honest communication - to achieve the satisfactory outcome that we all so want to see.' Read the letter and reply...

24 May 2007
With regard to the Boston West Street Level Crossing, Robert Havercroft of Network Rail stated to the BBEG in an email on 21 May 2007 that, "I am aware that the site meeting with Mr Tilly from HMRI has now been held. That said, I have asked my colleague who attended the meeting to give me a summary of the situation. I (or a colleague) will contact you again in the near future."

25 May 2007
BBEG receive a letter from Mark Simmonds MP: 'I also have regular contact with my colleagues in the European Parliament, and recently travelled to Brussels and met with both Chris Heaton-Harris MEP and Roger Helmer MEP, where we discussed many of the challenges that Lincolnshire faces.' Read the letter...

21 June 2007
BBEG comment on the Lincoln road closures over the coming weeks: 'Whilst we understand the frustrations that will be felt in Lincoln over the coming nine weeks ... it should be pointed out that Boston does not have the luxury of a bypass or the ability to move East to West via alternative and acceptable routes.' More...

22 June 2007
BBEG make a new request for information under the Freedom of Information Act: 'We would like to request a copy of the transcript of what was said exactly by Cllr Martin Hill on BBC Radio Lincolnshire in the morning of 18 July 2006 please. We are aware if it's existence, as the relevant points were relayed to us over the telephone by a former Borough Councillor. We refer specifically to the remarks made about his recognition of the need of a bypass for Boston, together with the remarks made about him being prepared to make a special case for Boston. Our concern relates to his subsequent remarks, which are recorded on video at the Full Council Meeting/AGM of 18 May 2007, in which he branded Boston just "one of many market towns in the county, no different to any other".'

26 June 2007
BBEG Statement: 'The BBEG would like to congratulate the Boston Bypass Independents (BBI) on their achievements so far since their election last month and recognise all the hard work put in and long hours spent at the Borough Council offices. We also commend their achievement in getting Lincolnshire County Council to allocate £50,000 of the £6 million + funding to look at defining a line of a distributor road for Boston. We however are cautiously observing the response from Lincolnshire County Council in making this promise. Remember we have listened to statements made over the last 2 years by Cllr Martin Hill, for example those made at the Waddington Parish public meeting and on BBC Radio Lincolnshire, which have so far not proved to amount to any actual evidence of what was said being carried out. Our concern remains that it appears that the road widening scheme, which the BBI reported in their manifesto would be blocked, is to continue, albeit we understand in part. The BBEG await a response from Network Rail about the safety and feasibility of widening the West Street level crossing. There is no mention either of reducing the number of traffic lights, but rather a "re-phasing", which was in LCC's original document. Too many traffic lights in Boston was the main issue highlighted by the public back in November 2004. Whilst welcoming the progress so far and the apparent speed of wanting to get something done, we all need to ensure that we are not simply being offered the same thing, presented in a different way. We remain cautiously optimistic.'

18 July 2007
BBEG Statement: 'With the announcement that Lincolnshire County Council and South Kesteven District Council are now very optimistic that Grantham is to get an East West bypass, the Leader of the County Council, Cllr Martin Hill says, it is something he has long campaigned for. It is acknowledged that private developer funding will be utilised but it is a sad reflection on the Lincolnshire County Council when the Leader does not share the same enthusiasm for Boston when the need is far greater. If Cllr Hill is now saying that they are looking at developer funding for Boston, it is about time. Funding has been on the cards for some years but was turned down, so we are led to believe, because the reciprocal development was utilising prime agricultural land.' More...

19 July 2007
1 year ago to the day: 'It is now 1 year ago to the day since the Public Consultation held in Boston town centre on 15th and 19th July 2006 ... here we sit, still waiting for something to actually be done about Boston's traffic congestion. It makes interesting reading as a reminder of what was promised and how the questions were responded to. Note the comments about the use of the word BYPASS and the choice of the SATURN model.'
Reminder of the Public Consultation in July 2006...

22 July 2007
BBEG write to Cllr Martin Hill: 'On BBC Radio Lincolnshire on 18 July 2006, your radio interview addressing the public on the Rod Whiting breakfast show included the following transcript, as provided by Lincolnshire County Council (LCC) under the Freedom of Information Act...' More...

23 August 2007
The Association of British Drivers (ABD) have just issued a Press Release demanding an end to "political speed limits", since Lincolnshire County Council is planning to reduce the speed limit on the A52 between Boston and Skegness.
ABD Spokesman Nigel Humphries said: "It is barking mad to suggest that a speed limit on a major road should be reduced to 'discourage traffic' simply because lots of people use the road, such an opinion is symptomatic of the insane manner in which roads are viewed by councils these days."
ABD Chairman Brian Gregory said: "All over the country we are seeing speed limits reduced to inappropriate levels for political reasons. Councillors respond to a handful of ill-informed residents, whilst the opinions of the hundreds or thousands of drivers who use the road every day are treated with contempt. It is time speed limit setting was taken away from councils, and put into the hands of a national body representing ALL road users."
They are asking all drivers to object against the whole traffic order, in writing,:
Heading: (A 52, Boston to Skegness)(Various Speed Limit Amendments) Order20.
Address: R A Wills
Director for Development
for attention of Lynne Brown
Traffic Orders Section
Lincolnshire County Council
4th Floor
City Hall
Objections must be in by 29th August 2007 (For their full press release, click here.)

28 August 2007
The BBEG has received an email from Keith Peat attaching his Official Objection to the A52 and also the LCC Statement of Reasons. Keith writes, "First officials reveal that they use speed limits to divert drivers and are criminalising them, not for road safety or even driving too fast but - wait for it - going along the wrong road." More...

02 September 2007
Martin Hill replies to the BBEG claiming no Government funding is being used for Grantham. BBEG write back enclosing the report about Government funding for Grantham in the Grantham Journal. More...

13 September 2007
Boston is mentioned in Private Eye magazine: "Campaigners in favour of a much-needed by-pass won 25 seats out of 32 in the borough council elections, seizing control of the Tory-dominated 'no overall control' chamber ... the ways of local government are not that difficult to pick up, after all..." Private Eye website...

15 September 2007
BBEG write to Elaine Turner, LCC: 'On 9th January 2007, following the Lincolnshire County Council (LCC) Executive Decision that was made about Boston's road situation, LCC stated that:
they will start work within 6 months;
they can now do detailed work with regard to the line, cost and delivery of a distributor road.
We would be grateful if you would please explain why work has not yet started and when you anticipate that the line of a distributor road will be decided.'

19 September 2007
BBEG submit a new request under the Freedom of Information Act about the amount of Council Tax paid by Bostonians. More...

22 September 2007
BBEG writes to Quentin Davies MP: 'A further sum was later allocated to work on the line of a distributor road although it was not clear if funds would be taken from the original allocation.' Read the letter...

25 September 2007
BBEG writes further to Martin Hill: '...we have not yet received a reply in answer to our further question about the Grantham bypass funding...Following our conversations with the Leader of Boston Borough Council, Cllr Richard Austin, it appears that no work is to be carried out on the line of a distributor road for 3 years? We are also given to understand that a deal has been struck between yourself and Cllr Richard Austin to delay the implementation of a line of a distributor road for Boston?' Read the letter...

28 September 2007
Cllr Richard Austin and Cllr Peter Jordan, OBE, issue a personal response to recent press articles: 'This is a personal response to recent press articles and should not necessarily be interpreted as the view of Boston Bypass Independents or Boston Borough Council.'
Word documentDownload Word document...

24 October 2007
BBEG Comment: 'Boston BYPASS should be at the top of any PRIORITY list for Lincolnshire. A new BRIDGE needs to be built over the River Witham between the Sluice Bridge and Langrick Bridge and then linked up to the existing roads in stages to form a BYPASS.' More...

12 December 2007
The Pressure Groups Press Release: 'Having witnessed the turning off of the lights at the Liquorpond Street roundabout, we would like to congratulate Cllrs. Austin and Jordan for the partial improvement in traffic flows at this junction. However we should point out that this was agreed by LCC in January 2007 following numerous discussions with the Bypass groups and the general public who had been pushing for this for some time.' More...

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