A referendum before Kirton, Frampton and Wyberton residents on Thursday asked if they would “call on Lincolnshire County Council to keep the A16 roundabout until Boston is bypassed?”
A total of 364 residents across all three parishes voted, with 337 saying yes and 26 no. One vote was, however, voided. It means yes took 92.8% of the counted votes.
The breakdown by parish was:
Kirton: Yes 255, No 16, Void 1. Turnout: 6.3% Frampton: Yes 58, No 7, Void 0. Turnout: 6.2% Wyberton: Yes 24, No 3, Void 0. Turnout: 0.8%
Kirton Parish Councillor Peter Watson, one of those who organised the referendum, said the result was “overwhelming”.
Responding to county councillors calling the referendum a waste of money, he said: “The real waste of money is that the local people have been denied a public consultation, and that is why the people wanted a referendum, it’s not just me asking for it.”
He questioned the money already spent on the plans.
“I’m delighted that over 92% of those who voted are in favour of keeping the roundabout on a bitterly cold evening, with no postal voting and the poll only announced with less than a week’s notice and only five hours voting time.”
He called on Lincolnshire highways bosses to “do the right thing”.
Boston Rural Councillor Mike Brookes called the referendum a waste of money but said public feelings had already been made clear at a meeting earlier this year, during which the county council was told by a local priest to take the plans “to the shredder”.
“I don’t see that the referendum is going to tell the county council any more than they already knew and were already trying to do something about,” he said, adding that Lincolnshire County Council had already been looking at ways the scheme could be improved.
“Initially, I thought that the signalised junction would be okay, but obviously there were a lot of feelings I think it wouldn’t have done the job safely.”
He acknowledged there were safety concerns around the junction and a “misapprehension” there would be a right turn ban.
“There’s obviously strong local feeling against it and feelings that a signalised junction wouldn’t be as safe as a roundabout. So, as a councillor I’m there to listen to the public opinion and try and, you know, put their arguments forward.”
However, he said it was part of a £20 million package of levelling up funds. adding it was “difficult to just pull one out without having to go back and make agreements.”
“You don’t do that sort of thing quickly,” he said.
Lincolnshire County Councillor Richard Davies has not commented on the referendum so far, however, last week also called it a “waste of time and money”.
“You would have thought in these austere times that parish communities would have better things to spend the money on that benefit their local communities,” he said.
He said the authority was in “very close communication” with county ward councillors “on an almost daily basis” and was exploring all options.