Blueprints for improving travel and transport in our towns revealed

Town centre improvements, better public transport and improved facilities for cyclists and pedestrians are all part of the new vision for the future of transport in our local towns, including Mablethorpe, Skegness and Sleaford.

Lincolnshire County Council has drawn up three new strategies – one for Grantham, one Sleaford, and one for Skegness (pictured) and Mablethorpe.
Lincolnshire County Council has drawn up three new strategies – one for Grantham, one Sleaford, and one for Skegness (pictured) and Mablethorpe.

Lincolnshire County Council, working with local district councils, has drawn up three new strategies – one for Skegness and Mablethorpe, one for Sleaford and also for Grantham – that aim to improve transport and support future development to 2036 and beyond.

Coun Richard Davies, executive member for highways, said that the overall purpose of these new transport strategies is to “provide the people, businesses and organisations in towns they serve with a transport system that helps meet their daily needs”.

He said: “As part of their development, we’ve factored in the significant changes to working patterns and travel habits we’ve seen as a result of the pandemic, with more people using online services and working in home/work hybrid scenarios.

“We want to meet these, and other changing travel demands by offering a wider range of affordable, reliable and environmentally-friendly travel options for people to choose from – all while supporting planned economic growth.

"This will hopefully lead to more people using alternative forms of transport, resulting in less congestion and a more pleasant town centre, making Grantham, Sleaford, Skegness and Mablethorpe more prosperous, attractive and healthier places to live, learn, work and visit."

The plans for Skegness and Mablethorpe will see opportunities to make the most of our coastal areas and improving public transport, including:

• Looking for opportunities to make the town centres more enjoyable places for everyone by improving key public spaces, including the area around Skegness Train Station and Mablethorpe’s High Street and bus station

• Providing better networks for cyclists and pedestrians by significantly improving facilities for walking and cycling across the coastal area including enhanced provision along several routes and at key locations through Skegness, Mablethorpe, Ingoldmells and Sutton-on-Sea.

• Making bus journeys quicker and more reliable by considering bus priority controls at strategic locations

• Investigating the feasibility of introducing relief roads in the area

• Looking for opportunities with partners to enhance visitor travel via public transport by providing, for example higher quality parking and drop-off points and better coaches and stations with improved facilities like indoor shelters, information points, wi-fi and charging points

• Supporting school travel by implementing and reviewing School Travel Plans for each school; increasing the safety of walking and cycle routes to schools; and reviewing and revising school bus routes to enhance provision in hard-to-reach areas

• Improving walking and cycling journeys by reviewing the safety of walking and cycling infrastructure; introducing new walking and cycle routes, extending the existing England Coastal Path from Skegness to Mablethorpe and introducing a cycle lane along the A52, and introducing improved town centre cycle parking and storage

• Working with partners to look for opportunities to better integrate modes of public transport in Skegness to facilitate onward journeys further afield by better aligning timetables and introducing improved facilities like better signage, lockers, cycle parking, lighting and more

• Looking to evaluate better connections such as CallConnect facilities in hard-to-reach areas

Over in Sleaford, the plans also involve vast improvements for walking and cycling, including:

• Providing a comprehensive cycling and walking network for Sleaford

• Improving the Sleaford area’s cycling and walking network, including improvements to from Cranwell to the town centre via Lincoln Road; Ruskington to the town centre via East Road; and Silk Willoughby to Sleaford West Sustainable Urban Extension via London Road and Castle Causeway

• Considering the implementation of improvements to help manage the impacts of traffic, for example introducing a banned turn from the A15 Sleaford bypass to Drove Lane for motor vehicles; implementing a no-loading ban on South Gate for all vehicles between the hours of 7am to 9am and 5pm to 7pm; and partially pedestrianising South Gate

• Promoting an increase in the frequency of bus services from Sleaford to neighbouring towns and villages; upgrading buses and local bus stops and infrastructure; and increasing the number of CallConnect vehicles operating across Sleaford

• Reviewing speed limits; considering the introduction of hire-a-bike or hire-a-scooter; and improving road signage in the strategy area

Coun Davies continued: "These strategies provide a number of proposals for us, the district councils and developers to consider over the next 15 years as we strive towards meeting ambitious growth targets within the county.

"Not only do we want to improve key junctions in each town, but we also want to encourage more people to use sustainable modes of transport – whether that be buses and trains or bicycles and electric cars.

"With a focus on ensuring Lincolnshire’s key towns have the infrastructure they need to meet travel demands over the coming decades, the challenge now is finding the funding needed to make these improvements a reality. And the only way we’re going to be able to do that is if everyone gets behind the plan and works together.”

The three new transport strategies have been written to align with the key themes and outcomes of Lincolnshire’s Local Transport Plan 5.

All three documents are set to be reviewed and voted on by the county council’s Highways and Transport Scrutiny Committee on Monday, December 12.

For more information about this and other major highways projects, visit www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/majorprojects.