Spalding

Local Democracy Weekly: Highways chiefs ‘failed residents’ in £100m relief road saga

The first priority for any local authority is to its residents and this is no different in Lincolnshire, but somehow this got lost in translation in the face of a multi-million pound highways project.

Whether it be their welfare, delivering good jobs for the economy or providing road networks, councils should put their people first.

Councillors in the county know this and do, but this past week residents in Spalding disagreed.

Homeowners on Bourne Road were horrified after a neighbour informed them that their houses were in the firing line of the route for the £100 million relief road.

The project has been in the pipeline since 2014, and the authority is set to submit plans for the route this spring.


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But no contact had been made with residents, which left them feeling uncertain, isolated and many with sleepless nights.

A complete lack of “compassion” is how Catherine Roberts, whose home of 20 years faces demolition, described it.

Councillor Richard Davies, executive member for highways at the county council, addresses residents affected by the Spalding Relief Road at a meeting at Bromley Hall in Pode Hole, near Spalding. Picture: Daniel Jaines.

“We are left in limbo waiting for the letter to drop through the letter box,” she said.

It’s a basic move to let people know that they fall in the midst of a major highways project.

But somehow the county council failed to do this.

Highways chief, Councillor Richard Davies, said he was “extremely sorry” and put himself forward to “face the music” at a village hall meeting, and rightly so.

He added that he would be asking his team why no contact was made to those people who are directly affected.

I’m sure they would like to know the answer, as would the rest of us.