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Replacement of Cross Keys Bridge at Sutton Bridge and improvements to A roads in 10-year transport plan

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Building a new bridge on one of the main routes to and from West Norfolk would improve journey times and boost the economy, according to a new report.

A new 10-year vision for transport in Lincolnshire, including the replacement of the Cross Keys crossing on the A17 at Sutton Bridge, has been outlined.

The idea of improving or replacing the bridge was first raised earlier this year - with a full replacement likely to cost £100 million.

The Cross Keys Bridge (49013289)
The Cross Keys Bridge (49013289)

Norfolk transport chiefs have already indicated their support for a new bridge and the two counties have been urged to work together on the scheme.

There have also been wider calls for upgrades to the A17, amid claims the road is "not fit for purpose."

Improvements to major A roads are seen as key economic proposals, especially for the food sector, while more HGV drivers are needed to avert the current issues affected horticulture, agriculture and logistics firms in South Holland.

Coun Richard Davies, executive member for highways at Lincolnshire County Council
Coun Richard Davies, executive member for highways at Lincolnshire County Council

Documents published in the transport plan, which is now the subject of a public consultation, claim a new bridge would improve national connectively and journey time reliability as well as supporting "priority economic sectors".

Richard Davies, Lincolnshire County Council's executive member for highways, said: “A Local Transport Plan is something we have to produce as a council, and it lays out what our transport is like now, where we want to be in 10 years, and how we’re going to get there.

“It’s big picture stuff, and once we have it, it allows us to apply for government funding pots that help us achieve the goals set out in the plan.

“Our last Local Transport Plan was published in 2013, and there are new challenges that we need to rise to in this new one.”

Among them is the 60 per cent increase in traffic on the county's roads between 1993 and 2019, compared to a 39 per cent rise across England as a whole.

The report also highlights that there are just six electric vehicle charging points in the South Holland district, which includes Sutton Bridge, out of 116 in the whole county.

Two districts have at least five times the number of charging points that South Holland does.

Mr Davies said: “Never has the issue of climate change been so prominent in our thinking, so we need to address issues around sustainable and active travel, and increasing our capacity for electric vehicle charging.

“The plan also looks at freight and how our infrastructure can support business growth, as well as rail improvements, the public transport offer, and road schemes.

“Before we publish such a huge, overarching document, we need to make sure that the people of Lincolnshire, its businesses, and our partners, buy into the vision, agree with the challenges, and support the solutions that we’ve laid out.”

The report also reveals there are only six electric vehicle charging points in the South Holland district which includes Sutton Bridge – the joint lowest of any Lincolnshire district.

The Local Transport Plan draft document and consultation survey can be found online at www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/engagement. The survey will close at midnight on Wednesday, December 1.

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