This page summarises our campaign. Please use the buttons above to access other more detailed information such as how to object to Hawthorn Road closing.
Remember we strongly support the Bypass but are campaigning to keep Hawthorn Road open.
February 2016 Update
The Inquiry result is finally in and unfortunately Hawthorn Road will close in 2017. Needless to say after so much hard work we are very disappointed. We had hoped the Inspector would find a mechanism for retaining Hawthorn Road and getting on with building the bypass but that was not to be.
We are however pleased that the Inspector accepted the view that the residents to the east of Lincoln and the villages beyond will be adversely affected by the closure of Hawthorn Road. He also agreed with us and the consensus of opinion that the points we highlighted with regards to the Wickes mini-roundabout junction, Greetwell Road , Greetwell Hollow and Kennel Lane are real issues albeit he concluded they were not currently significant enough to warrant delaying the start of the bypass. Nevertheless these issues are likely to cause real problems to the residents affected either at the opening of the bypass or afterwards and we look forward to LCC taking responsibility for these issues to minimise any further disruption. The Inspector also commented that our alternative road bridge scheme was well thought out and perfectly feasible but recognised the difficulties of introducing this into the project now. It should also be remembered that without residents campaigning there would be no NMU bridge across the bypass at Hawthorn Road and no safety improvements to the design thereafter. This at least has served to maintain the historic safe access for pedestrians and cyclists along the Hawthorn Road route.
We’d like to take this opportunity to record our appreciation of the huge support given to the campaign by large numbers of residents of the villages of Cherry Willingham and Reepham as well as many residents of the Carlton Centre who use services in the villages. Thanks must also go to the many elected members of West Lindsey DC including local members Anne Welburn, Alex Bridgewood and Chris Darcel, County Councillor Ian Fleetwood, and our MP Sir Edward Leigh. The biggest thanks must however go to the 500+ residents who wrote objection letters and the 700+ who turned out on a cold November evening for our public meeting.
January 2016 Update
We have been expecting a result from the Public Inquiry since the beginning of November. As there is still no word (30/01/16) we thought it may be useful to provide an update.
The Public Inquiry finished in mid-August 2015. The Inspector appointed by the Secretary of State then wrote a report which we understand has now been sent to the Secretary of State and the next step will be his decision on whether to confirm Lincolnshire County Councils legal orders to close Hawthorn Road (amongst other bypass related issues). It must be remembered that the Public Inquiry was a Side Roads Order Inquiry not a Planning Inquiry (the bypass got planning permission in 2013 without objections – mainly as LCC had not effectively publicised to the affected villages that Hawthorn Road would close) which would have had a wider remit. The Side Road Order Inquiry only considered whether if Hawthorn Road was stopped up that a reasonably convenient alternative route would be provided.
There is no statutory deadline for the Secretary of State to make a decision but we understand that to comply with DfT best practice a decision before the end of February 2016 would be necessary. We would therefore expect a decision ‘any day now’ although we are aware that we (along with others including LCC) have been saying this for some time. When the result is announced the inspectors report will be available on the following link – https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/highways-act-inspectors-reports-and-decision-letters
One development which may be of interest relates to the new bridge which will carry the railway over the bypass near Washingborough. In the officers report for the January meeting of LCC’s Highways and Transport Scrutiny Committee it describes how LCC are looking to contract with Network Rail separately from the main bypass contract to build this bridge. The full detailed reasoning behind this is complex and it is suggested anyone looking for details reads the officer reports in item 7 on the Agenda at http://lincolnshire.moderngov.co.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=492&MId=4516&Ver=4
One of the results of this contract will be to discharge the Planning Permission on the bypass which was due to expire in June 2016. Our understanding is that this means that the planning permission for the bypass will not lapse regardless of the result of the inquiry.
Itinerary for Public Inquiry
An itinerary for the public Inquiry can be found on the link below. Apologies for anyone who attended the inquiry today and found it was adjourned due to LCC’s barrister being ill
- Remember any additional written comments/evidence or a request to speak at the Inquiry must be submitted by July 10th 2015. Further details of how to submit comments etc are given here: Advice regarding the Public Inquiry
- The public Inquiry will be held starting on Aug 11th 2015 at the Doubletree Hilton on Brayford Wharf North in the centre of Lincoln.
- Advice regarding the Public Inquiry
- Over 500 local residents objected to the closure of Hawthorn Road by writing letters to the Department for Transport.
- You can also catch up with the latest news on our new Blog Page. We will try and keep this up to date with the latest developments.
Lincoln Eastern Bypass & Hawthorn Road
As things currently stand Hawthorn Road will close permanently where it crosses the proposed Lincoln Eastern Bypass when the construction of the bypass starts in 2015. If you would like to try and ensure Hawthorn Road stays open to cars please object to its closure as described on this web site as it may be the last chance to keep Hawthorn Road open.
This page provides basic information regarding our campaign and tells you how to make your voice heard if you are affected and agree with us.
What is Lincoln Eastern Bypass?
Lincoln Eastern Bypass is a new road currently in planning which will provide much needed new road capacity to the eastern side of Lincoln. Not only will this help relieve traffic in Lincoln itself it will also open up land on the eastern side of Lincoln for development.
Overview Eastern Bypass
This sounds like a good idea. Why are you opposed to the Eastern Bypass?
We are emphatically not opposed to the Eastern Bypass. We think it is an excellent highway scheme and will bring great benefits to Lincoln. We are however opposed to a locally important aspect of the scheme whereby the Eastern Bypass will close Hawthorn Road to through traffic where it crosses the new bypass. Hawthorn Road is a major local road connecting the eastern villages of Cherry Willingham, Reepham and Fiskerton to Lincoln. This will lead to significantly longer journeys on less safe roads for over 5000 residents.
I’ve heard about the Eastern Bypass on the radio and in the papers for years and nothing has happened. What’s the current status?
Actually quite a lot has happened regarding the Eastern Bypass over many years. As with all major road schemes the difficulty has been securing funding. Generally schemes of this size are too costly for a local authority such as Lincolnshire County Council (LCC) to fund alone and must compete with many other similar schemes for funding from central government. Only the schemes which are the best value for money will get this funding especially in the current financial climate.
Plans for an Eastern Bypass have been around since at least the 1960’s and probably beyond. For many years the scheme has been designed as a dual carriageway as this is the most appropriate design for the level of traffic predicted to be carried by the road. A dual carriageway scheme was given planning permission in 2010 and was in the process of bidding for funding from the government. Due to the financial crisis all local authorities were forced to reduce the cost of proposed road schemes and re-bid for funding. In 2011 LCC reduced the design of the road to single carriageway which lowered the cost form £140m to £90m. This new bid was successful and funding was given subject to the scheme getting planning permission and completing other legal processes.
Planning permission was obtained in 2013 and construction may potentially begin in 2015 assuming Lincolnshire County Council can satisfy the remaining approval processes.
What exactly is proposed for Hawthorn Road?
The current plans propose to close Hawthorn Road to traffic where it crosses the proposed new bypass. Hawthorn Road to the east of the bypass will be provided with a new limited access left-in-left-out junction with the bypass. This will only allow traffic travelling westbound along Hawthorn Road from Cherry Willingham towards Lincoln to join the bypass Southbound and travel towards Fiskerton Road. Traffic wishing to travel eastbound along Hawthorn Road towards Cherry Willingham will only be allowed to do so if travelling southbound along the bypass from the current Wragby Road/bypass roundabout. No other movements will be allowed.
Detail of Point of Closure to Through Traffic and Traffic Movements Allowed after Closure
What’s wrong with the current plans for the bypass? Why not just provide a road bridge for Hawthorn Road over the bypass?
Quite. Lincolnshire County Council’s principal reasons for not providing a road bridge were originally (a) cost and (b) changing the design at a late stage may cause delays and break funding deadlines leading to a loss of funding. As regards cost the saving by not providing a road bridge is £1,000,000 on a total cost of £90m for the whole bypass. The proposed new Non-Motorised User (NMU) bridge to allow pedestrians, cyclists and horses to cross over the bypass along Hawthorn Road will cost £500,000 meaning that the cost saving by not providing a road bridge is reduced to £500,000 or approx 0.5% of the total scheme cost. Further saving can be made as the provision of a road bridge for Hawthorn Road will remove the cost of having a left-in-left-out junction onto the bypass which we estimate will save a further £400,000 – £450,000. This results in a cost of providing a road bridge over the proposed footbridge of only £100,000-£50,000.
We feel this saving is too small to justify the disruption caused to many residents lives by closing Hawthorn Road to cars. Partly as a result of our campaign to date Lincolnshire County Council have suggested that the cost of a road bridge is no longer a major issue and the issue of closing Hawthorn Road could be looked at again if funding could be guaranteed.
Do many local people support keeping Hawthorn Road open?
Many local residents and councillors agree with us that Hawthorn Road should be kept open. These include:
- 3500 local residents who signed our petition earlier in 2014
- Around 700 residents of Cherry Willingham and Reepham who attended our public meeting in November 2014.
- Many residents of the Carlton estate in Lincoln who use Hawthorn Road daily to travel to schools in the villages
- Cherry Willingham Parish Council
- Reepham Parish Council
- Fiskerton Parish Council
- Sir Edward Leigh MP, Member of Parliament for Gainsborough (includes Cherry Willingham in constituency)
- Local County Council member for Cherry Willingham
- District Council members for Cherry Willingham and Fiskerton.
Who’s decision is it close Hawthorn Road or keep it open?
As things stand Hawthorn Road will close when the Eastern Bypass is built. The decision to keep Hawthorn Road open is principally Lincolnshire County Council’s decision. They do however have to get over one last legal hurdle called a Side Road Order which is possibly the last chance to get outside independent scrutiny of the plans via a public inquiry. This will not happen unless enough people object to Hawthorn Road closing. Hopefully based on the strength of local feeling and common sense LCC will agree to provide a road bridge for Hawthorn Road thereby avoiding the expense and delay of a public inquiry.
I would like to help keep Hawthorn Road open. What can I do to object to the closure?
The deadline for objections to the Department for Transport expired on 5th Dec 2014. A public inquiry will be held starting on Aug 11th 2015. It is possible for anyone to submit a short statement to the inquiry providing evidence of how the closure of Hawthorn will impact upon them. See for more details.
Who exactly are you? Who do you speak for?
We are simply a group of local residents who got together to campaign against Hawthorn Road closing. We are very much in favour of the bypass and only oppose the issue of Hawthorn Road closing. We liaise closely with the Parish Councils and other district and County Councillors who are also opposed to Hawthorn Road closing.