Town centre improvements, better public transport and improved facilities for cyclists and pedestrians are all part of the new vision for transport in Grantham, Sleaford, Skegness and Mablethorpe.
Lincolnshire County Council, working in partnership with local district councils, has drawn up three new strategies – one for Grantham, one Sleaford, and one for Skegness and Mablethorpe – that aim to improve transport and support future development to 2036 and beyond.
All three documents are set to be reviewed and voted on by the county council’s Highways and Transport Scrutiny Committee on Monday 12 December.
Cllr Richard Davies, executive member for highways, said: “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 now and in the future.
“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.”
Some of the aspirations within the draft strategies include:
- Improving facilities for walking and cycling across the town and strategy area
- Improving bus journey times and reliability
- Creating ‘mobility hubs’ around town that offer a range of transport options from a single location – including rail, bus, taxi and cycling
- Investigating junction improvements at key pinch-points to support current and future traffic (including new traffic signals and roundabout improvements)
- Encouraging the decarbonisation of travel and transport by promoting the installation of more electrical charging points to increase electric vehicle uptake; converting public sector fleets to electric; supporting the transition to EV taxis; and requiring EV charging points to be included in all new developments that provide car parking
- Streamlining car parking in the town centres and on key routes and reviewing the feasibility and public interest for low-traffic neighbourhoods
In addition, the following location-specific aspirations have been included in the strategy:
- Investing in high quality walking and cycling infrastructure along key corridors including north of Grantham town centre towards Manthorpe via Grantham and District Hospital; south of Grantham town centre along A52 Somerby Hill; and west of Grantham town centre along A52 Barrowby Road
- Providing healthy neighbourhoods and liveable streets within the Sustainable Urban Extension in Grantham by providing additional infrastructure to link the new developments sustainably with the town
- Public realm improvements throughout the town centre to promote movement and create spaces people want to dwell including part-pedestrianisation of Grantham town centre, along with increased planting, seating, and open and green spaces and increased maintenance of public amenities, street furniture and landscaping
- Increasing the frequency, operating hours, route coverage, and reliability of bus services in Grantham including a new route or extension/adaptation of existing services from the town centre to outlying rural areas; a new bus route which serves Grantham Cemetery; improved bus services to Grantham District Hospital; and passenger facility improvements to Grantham Bus Station
- Optimising traffic flow on the highway network and improving the efficiency of junctions in Grantham at key pinch points including at the following:
- Barrowby Road / North Street / A607
- Watergate / A607 / North Street
- Wharf Road / B1174 / St. Catherine’s
- Sankt Augustin Way / Barrowby Road
- Gainsborough Corner
- Dysart Road / Westgate / A607
- Improving connections to the town centre and Grantham Railway Station, including potential improvements at Dysart Road / Westgate / Sankt Augustin Way junction; Station Road / Station Road East; Launder Terrace; and Huntingtower Road
- Managing the impact of freight routing and deliveries by encouraging the use the Grantham Southern Relief Road when complete and by establishing a Freight Quality Partnership to develop an understanding of delivery and servicing issues and solutions
- Creating a high-quality green corridor from Barrowby Road to Somerby Hill including a fully segregated cycle track; high-quality footway; an interchange point at the A1 junction and the High Dike junction for ‘Park & Ride’, ‘Park & Stride’ and ‘Park & Bike’; and high frequency shuttle buses from the A52 into Grantham town centre
- 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
Skegness and Mablethorpe
- 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 (extension of 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
Cllr Davies continued: “These strategies provide a number of proposals for us, the district councils and developers to consider over the next fifteen 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.