Transportation and Infrastructure
North Kesteven District Council is part of the Midlands Engine, a body that brings together the Council operating in the area stretching from the Black Country eastwards to the Lincolnshire Coast together with delivery groups, educational establishments and other. Together, the various bodies seek to promote strategic economic development of the area, harnessing its strengths and promoting it as a place to invest, develop and grow. A Vision outlining key activities has been produced, seeking to shape the future of the Midlands, identify strengths to develop as well as overcoming barriers to achieving this.
As part of the work being done by Midlands Engine, Midlands Connect focusses specifically on transportation needs of the wider Midlands Engine area. Its focus is on supporting the Midlands to grow and develop, fulfilling its potential. Working across all transport modes, Midlands Connect seeks to join up and develop key linkages across the region to allow intraregional trade as well as facilitate international connections to be made.
Midlands Connect A46 Study
There are a number of key projects around smart ticketing, road and rail affecting the region. One of the key pieces of work has been the A46 which is a key transport corridor across the whole area stretching some 155miles from Gloucestershire to Lincolnshire. The work seeks to develop parts of the route and provide investment at key locations.
It seeks to provide a comprehensive improvement plan covering a 20 year period, identifying key investments along the route that will alleviate congestions and ultimately lead to economic growth along its length. The first part of this study has been conclude with the outcome accessible here www.midlandsconnect.uk/publications/a46-stage-one-corridor-study-summary-report/
Whilst not in Lincolnshire, a key identified upgrade is around Newark, impacting on A17 and A1 as well. The current under construction Lincoln Eastern Bypass is a key upgrade, whilst the potential Lincoln Southern Relief Road could form a part in later stages. Improvements northwards towards Grimsby and the port at Immingham (via the A15) will greatly increase the capacity of the area to deliver economic growth through better transport links.
The second stage of Midlands Connect’s A46 corridor study will further develop the proposed improvements and their respective business cases, and is due for release in 2019.
North Kesteven District Council is not responsible for local roads, this being a function of Lincolnshire County Council. However, in seeking to develop projects NKDC does input into road schemes, such as the proposed changes to the Holdingham Roundabout which NKDC successfully bid for funding for. Such schemes would always be in partnership with the High Authority, Lincolnshire County Council.
NKDC has been actively involved in projects aimed at improving rail services within its area. This includes providing information to bidders for the East Midlands franchise and working with the current franchise holder to deliver better services. This has been most evident at Hykeham Station with significantly more train services stopping leading to increased passenger number. Work is also undertaken along the Poacher Line – Grantham to Skegness – which passes through Rauceby, Sleaford and Heckington with regard to events.
Footpaths and Cycleways
The Council has also inputted into projects seeking to improve walking and cycling opportunities. Small scale studies and interventions have been made to help provide ‘missing links’ where practicable, sometimes made possible by working with local bodies to access funding. NKDC is also actively promoting cycling.