Lincolnshire

Hundreds attend Lincoln Eastern Bypass meeting

Lincoln Eastern Bypass meeting
Image caption Residents voiced concerns about the closure of roads along the bypass route

Hundreds of residents turned out at a meeting to plead for changes to plans for the £100m Lincoln Eastern Bypass.

Campaigners gathered on Friday night to raise their concerns about the road which will connect north and south Lincoln.

Plans for the road were first approved in 2010 and designs have been changed several times since.

County council leader Martin Hill said construction must start soon or government funding would be lost.

More than 3,500 people have signed a petition opposing plans for a footbridge and the partial closure of Hawthorn Road to vehicles.

Residents argue the road should stay open and the bridge, which was approved last month, should also be accessible for cars.

Image caption The bypass will connect Wragby Road in the north to Sleaford Road in the south

Campaigner Sally Lidbury said she was delighted with the meeting turnout.

"This has been a real long journey for us but I feel our efforts have been appreciated by the public," she said.

Gainsborough MP Sir Edward Leigh (Cons) said: "There's a tremendous amount of local concern. It's an important issue.

"Ultimately you can't ignore local people. You can't just close a road and not expect people to fight for their rights."

Mr Hill said the authority was in a difficult position but would look at the project again if it was confident of funding being secure.

He said: "We have extensively consulted on it but we recognise that, although a major plus for Lincoln and Lincolnshire, there will be some people who will be disadvantaged.

"It's not just a question of changing our mind and putting another bridge in. We have to go through the whole process again.

"If we don't get on with this bypass soon there's a possibility we will lose the whole of it as government funding runs out next year."

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