Yet again we are informed by the Highways Guru that work will commence on the Grantham relief road next week.
One may wonder how far they intend going before that work stops again.
The rhetoric emanating from Lincolnshire County Council is becoming monotonous to say the least as to the lack of action on a road that has received planning permission. Time and again we are told it will happen in the spring and when spring comes it is changed to the autumn, a little akin to the donkey and the carrot hoping the electorate will accept what they are doing.
Grantham has been waiting over 25 years for this relief road and every time it appears work will start, not just a hole in the ground but meaningful work, something happens to delay it. Excuses like no-one will sign up to have a property on the site just do not wash; anyone with a modicum of intelligence can accept that no company will sign and commit millions of pounds to a project that has no tangible infrastructure.
There is no reason the road cannot be started at the A1 side which would allow the Highways Agency to commence the junction that is required for access/egress for HGV vehicles. This would then open the King31 land for employment use; the road can then be extended to the land east of Spittlegate Level which again will open designated employment land to bring much-needed high-quality jobs to Grantham.
There are many county councils that have built roads to attract employment and left a spur to allow further extension of the road; Leicester comes to mind and their employment area is thriving. One may ask why our county council is reticent to even do this, to show prospective employers that Grantham is open for business.
It does not need a brain surgeon to realise that the provision of the necessary infrastructure which is visible will convince prospective employers that Grantham is the ideal place to start a business or move a business here considering the A1 and rail facilities.
All too often the rallying cry goes out from LCC of what we are doing for Grantham but close scrutiny shows it is only cosmetic and at times causes many problems because of traffic mismanagement and desk top exercises that are put into being. The prime one being Priory Court and Brook Street traffic movement solution? Being an ex-HGV driver, when I first saw the plans I informed Mr Thompson, the then highways manager, that the corners were to sharp for large vehicles and needed cutting back. I was informed that according to the computer they were fine. What happened? There were more fences knocked over than at Aintree and eventually the corners were cut back.
A computer cannot relate to the human factor, so why do they never listen to people whose experience can save thousands of pounds and inconvenience to the motorist?