I assume Jonathan Williams (Personally speaking, Mercury last week) was intending to be provocative.
The A15 was not built for and can’t cope with modern traffic. It’s a country lane, largely built by the Romans 2000 years ago, narrow, full of blind bends and dips, flood spots and crossed by dozens of mini access roads.
It’s full of huge 38-ton, double length lorries, buses, cars driven at idiotic speeds, motor and pedal cycles – often two or three abreast – parked vehicles, horses, deer, disabled scooters, men, women and children.
Most of it is simply not fit for overtaking but many drivers risk their own – and others’ lives – swinging wide on bends, ignoring double white lines and oncoming traffic.
Most of the problems in North Street, Bourne, are caused by lorries parking and unloading (illegally?) when they have perfectly viable rear delivery access.
They cause even more problems, when frustration sets in, by trying to reach the A1 via even narrower, even more dangerous B and unclassified connecting roads.
Who or what should be given priority? Road traffic or people? I know where my vote would go.
If there was a case for the stretch of average speed check cameras on the A52 to Grantham, then I believe the whole of the A15 from Peterborough to Lincoln (apart from the two or three short dual carriageways) should be controlled in the same way.
Then some people might learn to plan their journeys better and grit their teeth.
The views of Jonathan Williams regarding the A15 and those of Martin Hill, leader of Lincolnshire County Council, on the proposed north/south motorway through Lincolnshire, make interesting reading.
The “clamour for road crossings” at Thurlby and Northorpe is not new. Calls for safe pedestrian crossing of the main road began in 1972, when the A15 cut a swathe through Park Wood.
Essentially the A15 is a road linking local communities with nearby towns. However, as the only north/south route entirely in Lincolnshire, it has become a major highway, splitting villages along its route and causing conjestion in our market towns.
Mr Williams, in his survey of the A15, overlooked the Sleaford bypass. It was in 1972 that the government made available a 75 per cent grant for the development of bypasses at both Sleaford and Bourne. It is easy to see which town had the foresight to benefit
Bypasses are built to divert traffic from main population centres, but that same traffic spills back on to local roads. The current proposals for a motorway through Lincolnshire is part of a government strategy.
John Hayes, MP for Spalding and the Deepings, has said he believes the proposed motorway will link with the A1 to the south, as motorways link major cities such as London, Peterborough and Lincoln.
Coun Hill has expressed the view that the money would be better spent on upgrading many of the county road links, including the A15. Surely a north/south dual carriageway road, not a motorway, through Lincolnshire, would serve the whole county far better than upgrading, existing roads, which run through towns and villages.
The county council is faced with an unprecedented opportunity to benefit the whole county and its residents. However, to suggest that the money could be better spent elsewhere, and to present a wish list, is, in effect, rejection of this potential for specific major investment in the county’s infrastructure.
The plans for a major road through Lincolnshire are radical and controversial, but if commerce and tourism is to thrive in Lincolnshire, and residents are to enjoy a reasonable quality of life, can Lincolnshire County Council afford to reject the proposal and funding for a north/south route through the county.
Obthorpe Lane, Thurlby