Lincolnshire warned it may only get £262million transport funding if Conservatives win General Election​​​​​​​

It has emerged that the £262 million government transport funding package allocated to Lincolnshire could be dependent on the Conservative Party retaining power after the next General Election.
Coun Richard Davies.Coun Richard Davies.
Coun Richard Davies.

Last week, the government announced plans to redirect additional funds from the cancelled northern leg of HS2 across seven years, with Lincolnshire receiving around £37 million annually starting in 2025.

However, during Lincolnshire County Council’s Highways and Transport Scrutiny Committee meeting on Monday, Councillor Richard Davies (Conservative), the executive member for highways, advised councillors to be cautious regarding the anticipated funding.

He highlighted that the actual receipt of the funds hinges on the current Conservative government’s ability to retain power in the forthcoming general election.

“This is really great news — it represents not only a substantial increase in funding, but also it recognises a long standing desire we’ve had to see year-on-year investment which will then make a real difference to our supply chain,” said Councillor Davies.

“It does rely on the incumbent government winning the general election, so I would add a note of caution to any expectations as to whether this will actually happen.”

Although the exact date for the next general election has not been set, it must occur by January 28, 2025, at the latest. In recent months, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak indicated his expectation that the election would be held in the latter half of this year.

The additional funding could provide a much-needed boost to significant highway projects like the Spalding Western Relief Road scheme, which had to postpone construction of its southern section until 2030 due to financial constraints.

However, this delay has led some councillors to question whether the project will ever be completed.

Despite this, Lincolnshire County Council stated that there is no definitive plan yet on how the extra funds will be allocated.

Coun Davies clarified: “We cautiously welcome this news about the reallocation of HS2 funding, as this is something we’ve been calling for from central government for years.

“It’s still too early to say what this funding will be used for. However, it’s really refreshing to see Lincolnshire not getting overlooked, and we very much look forward to understanding more about this funding, including whether it is actually additional funding and also whether the funding will be guaranteed following the next general election.

“From there, we’ll look forward to having our local MPs on side so we can make the most of what’s being offered.”

In December, motorists in Lincoln city centre voiced strong criticisms of the condition of Lincolnshire’s roads, pointing out problems like potholes, irregular surfaces, and substandard temporary fixes.

Mel Caunt, 49, who frequently drives between Lincoln and Grimsby for her job as a nurse, voiced her concerns. She estimates there are at least 30 potholes in need of repair on that stretch alone.

“You don’t know you’re going to hit,” she said. “You have to be really careful.”

In contrast, during Monday’s meeting, Jonathan Evans, the Head of Highways Client and Contractual Management Services, reported that the condition of the county’s roads has actually improved over the past four years.