Work on Sleaford junctions to begin soon

A17/A153 juction at Sleaford Rugby Club. EMN-200113-102205001
A17/A153 juction at Sleaford Rugby Club. EMN-200113-102205001

Senior North Kesteven district councillors are expected to sign off today (Thursday) on committing £250,000 towards a £5million scheme to upgrade Sleaford’s two most congested junctions.

xecutive Board members will be updated on progress of the Sleaford Growth Project schemes and authorise £250,000 in match funding from reserves towards a £1.85m highways authority scheme to improve the A17 slip road junction with the A153 opposite Sleaford Rugby Club - a notorious blackspot.

In a report from chief executive Ian Fytche, his officers confirm progress on this and the £3.635million project to improve safety and flow at Holdingham Roundabout.

A £2m Single Local Growth Fund grant from the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership secured in 2017 by NKDC adds to the cocktail of funding for the two improvement schemes which will enable the creation of over 2,000 new jobs and around 1,700 new homes in Sleaford outlined in the Local Plan.

Both junctions are congested and exceed their capacity at peak times. The Rugby Club junction experiences lengthy queues of traffic waiting to turn out of the A17 slip road, sometimes backing onto the A17. Driver frustration has led to numerous accidents in the last three years, according to highways officials.

Work is scheduled to take three months at the Rugby Club junction starting in April, with Holdingham works to start in June and run simultaneously for a while, with some disruption expected.

Lincolnshire County Council will match NKDC’s funding for the A17/A153 work and will pay the up-front costs of the Holdingham scheme along with £1.3m of the Growth Fund. NKDC has secured £2.95m from existing and future planning permissions towards the schemes and, under a binding agreement, would be liable to cover any shortfall to the county council, if sufficient contributions are not received within 15 years.

Officers report: “The Rugby Club junction improvements are required to enable the growth of Sleaford and specifically the full delivery of the Sleaford Moor Enterprise Park. Without this improvement the SMEP site would either not be able to be fully developed or the range of uses on the site constrained.”

Detailed designs for Holdingham are ongoing, but nearing completion. In the most cost-effective and beneficial solution, highways engineers will place additional lanes at each approach to Holdingham Roundabout and traffic signals installed on the A17 dual carriageway approach and the A15 western bypass approach. New lanes and signals will be put on all approaches to the A17/A153 junction.