I’ve written about the ‘mythical’ southern relief road (SRR) and the Southern Quadrant several times and so far, sadly, everything that I’ve predicted (despite assurances to the contrary, from various council members), has been correct.
So – lets go for some more.
Phase 2 of the SRR will be completed – albeit late.
There will be a new retail outlet built. It will create some jobs, but it won’t put Grantham ‘on the map’.
Undoubtedly, a large number of visitors to the shopping centre will come by car, the A1 will be unable to cope with the increase in traffic, and frustrated motorists will look for an alternative route – probably through Grantham.
No one visiting the shopping centre will visit Grantham.
People from Grantham will visit the shopping centre.
If the Prince William of Gloucester Barracks is sold, the housing on that will be built before the Southern Quadrant development. Which means any developers will wait. Why? Simply because it’s easier, it’s flat, it already has access into it, it already has housing on the land, and effectively the Government already owns it.
It is therefore unlikely that any housing will be built on the original Southern Quadrant site.
Phase 3 of the SRR will be put into the ‘too difficult’ box, and mothballed.
Phase 3 of the SRR would bring huge benefit to the town, it should be the priority – but it obviously isn’t.
Grantham has been ruined by successive council administrations (district and county), who have allowed it to deteriorate into the depressing shambles that it is.
I have little confidence in the ‘new’ leadership team at SKDC, some of whom, frankly, don’t look old enough to be out on their own, let alone hold a position of responsibility or influence. I seriously doubt that they have the vision, ability or experience to make the necessary changes.
Until the traffic problems are managed, the town will not improve. The town has some potential, but now, it is a place to avoid. Some areas should be pedestrianised, and some places simply need to be flattened and re-thought – the Issac Newton Shopping Centre for example.
I wish I could find something positive to say, but unfortunately, past evidence gives little point in optimism.
Finally, though, can I suggest a snappy new slogan for the council to use on any visitor or tourist information literature? ‘Grantham…once is enough’.
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