A1173 closure delayed after businesses force council chiefs to re-think plan

Plans to close the A1173 have been delayed after local businesses forced North East Lincolnshire Council to reconsider the decision. Hauliers – who said the planned 19-mile detour would incur huge extra costs to their firms – will now hold further talks with council chiefs in Grimsby over their concerns about the impact of a major road closure near the A180 as alternatives are looked at. It was to be closed for a new roundabout to be created, unlocking land for a GBP42million industrial zone off the A180.

North East Lincolnshire Council announced the decision, saying that instead, ‘phase two’ of the works would start immediately with traffic management in place. This will make improvements to an existing roundabout. But one haulage firm manager told Grimsby Live: “We never even knew there was a Phase Two.

The council has not consulted with us about that either.” The Road Haulage Association, which has over 7,000 members nationally, has been consulted over the planned six-month closure of the A1173 to the Stallingborough Industrial Estate and Immingham.

The A180 Stallingborough Interchange, west of Grimsby, with the stretch to be closed running left from the junction towards Kiln Lane Industrial Estate and Immingham.

The Association represents the firms which carry around 90 per cent of freight in the UK and have more than 100,000 vehicles. Association officers are examining the measures planned by North East Lincolnshire Council.

They had initially set up a detour via Brocklesby interchange. But business owners said they would incur massive extra costs in fuel and extra hours for drivers because of the 19-mile detour. They were angry the road closure was imposed despite the new Hobson Way link to Grimsby’s Moody Lane, not yet being completed.

But now, council chiefs say the full closure of the A1173 will be delayed. A council spokeswoman said: “This will allow for further investigations as to any alternative solutions, during which relevant businesses and organisations will be engaged with and consulted. “Work however will start with a range of traffic management coming into force between now and May – with the two-phased project being switched around.”

Councillors say the new roundabout is “a vital cog in a GBP42m plan to transform North East Lincolnshire’s industrial fortunes for the future.”

A1173 closure delayed after businesses force council chiefs to re-think planThe section of the Humber Bank Link Road from Hobson Way, Stallingborough to the former Cortaulds site at Great Coates, which is nearing completion, ahead of the further closure from the Cortaulds site to Woad Lane, Great Coates

The construction of a new roundabout is taking place along the road, providing access to Phase One of a new Stallingborough Business Park. This project is part of SHIIP, the South Humber Industrial Investment Programme which has a target of creating more than 3,000 jobs by attracting a variety of new industry, with a focus upon advanced engineering and renewable energy. Early interest is strong.

Following a meeting with hauliers at Grimsby Town Hall, the 24-hour trial of a two-way traffic signal operation was removed. This week two-way lights are in operation from 9.30am to 3.30pm. These will operate until Friday, January 31, allowing contractors to continue with their ‘soft start’ ahead of the major works.

On Monday, February 3, three-way temporary signals will be installed around the roundabout of Kiln Lane and the A1173 for about three months. The second phase is scheduled to start in May and will involve the new roundabout construction, associated spine roads, a new footway cycle path and the utility installation. This phase of work will still last for six months and between now and May further talks will be held to investigate the best course of action to allow this work to go ahead.

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The council spokesman said: “A full road closure is still not being ruled out, but other options will be thoroughly considered.”

North East Lincolnshire Council  portfolio holder for environment and transport, Councillor Stewart Swinburn, who represents Immingham  ward said: “Our aim in making these changes is two-fold, to ensure the progress of the highly important SHIIP project, which will have a positive impact across the whole of the borough, but – and as importantly – to demonstrate our ability to be flexible, to listen to concerns of those successful businesses that are already operating and to work together to find solutions.” The highways work is part-funded by the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), supported with GBP1.6m from the Government’s Local Growth Fund. This was secured by the Humber LEP and is part of the Government’s commitment to the Northern Powerhouse.

Minister for the Northern Powerhouse and Local Growth, Rt Hon Jake Berry MP, said: “We’re committed to boosting economic growth and levelling up communities across the North and the Midlands. Thanks to GBP1.6 million from the Local Growth Fund, this exciting infrastructure project will not only improve connectivity to Stallingborough and the local area, but it will help to unlock thousands of jobs, boost clean growth and unleash the economic potential of North East Lincolnshire.”

A1173 closure delayed after businesses force council chiefs to re-think planPlans previously released for a new business park at the A180 Stallingborough Interchange

Lord Haskins, Chair of the Humber LEP , added: “We are pleased work is underway on this major infrastructure project to help unlock what is potentially prime development land in North East Lincolnshire. The south bank has many factors that make it a great place to operate a business and there are opportunities for this key location to grow into a thriving business park.

This site has the potential to create thousands of jobs for Humber residents as businesses move on to the site and we are proud the Local Growth Fund has helped to support improved employment prospects for the region.” Senior councillors are due to meet hauliers on Friday. Stallingborough Parish Council chairman, Councillor Paul Gilbert will raise concerns at a meeting of the Town and Parish Council Liaison Committee taking place on Thursday at 7pm at Grimsby Town Hall.

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