£210m relief road project to Skegness is shelved
Councillors were informed of the decision in a report presented before Lincolnshire County Council’s Highways Transport Scrutiny Committee on Monday.
The Skegness Relief Road project was part of the Lincolnshire Coastal Highway (LCH) and was estimated to cost between £180 – £210m based on 2022 prices. However, the council has warned that these costs could increase in the future.
The Lincolnshire Coastal Highway is the route comprising the A46 west of Lincoln and along the A158 to Skegness. It also includes the A57 from the county boundary to where it joins the A46 in Lincoln.
The council explored a relief road both from the south to the west of Skegness, and from the south to the north of the town as part of the study.
A connection to the Skegness Gateway would be unaffected by the decision.
Despite these setbacks, the council remains optimistic about the future of the LCH.
“We have to remember we actually defined the corridors between Skegness all the way through Lincoln and to the A1 as well,” said LCC’s Head of Highways Sam Edwards.
“There are a number of schemes that have been delivered along there… I still think what’s been delivered as part of the coastal highway is really positive.”
A similar move in 2019 saw plans for a Horncastle bypass also paused.
The Lincolnshire Coastal Highway project has seen a variety of highway schemes aimed at improving the county’s coastal route.
To date, a total of £7m has been allocated to the project by the council as part of a special ‘coastal highway’ funding pot.
This funding has been spent across a variety of highway schemes aimed at improving the county’s coastal route.
Sam also highlighted significant improvements that have been made to the LCH so far, including the completed Lincoln Eastern Bypass, changes to the Riseholme Roundabout, and the due to be constructed North Hykeham Relief Road.
“It’s undeniable that the Riseholme Roundabout and the Eastern Bypass have created huge benefits for that connectivity from the A1 to the coast but also more locally,” he said.
The council is keen to stress that while the Skegness Relief Road and Horncastle bypass projects have been paused, improvements elsewhere along the route have continued.
These improvements aim to make it easier for people to get to and from Skegness, enhancing connectivity and supporting the local economy.
Edwards also reassured that the shelving of the Skegness Relief Road project does not mean it won’t happen.
He suggested that other funding might come from elsewhere, or that there might be a way to make it developer-funded.
“There are other funding bids that may come out in the future that this aligns with absolutely perfectly,” Edwards said.
A feasibility study for an Orby bypass also indicated a very poor ‘Benefit to Cost Ratio’ score, meaning that it was also unlikely to attract third party funding should a funding opportunity be presented.