Early start for vital upgrade of A160 to A180 at Immingham welcomed by MP
THE planned upgrade of the A160 to A180 at Immingham will start ahead of schedule.
As reported on www.thisisgrimsby.co.uk, roadworks to dual the three-mile stretch of the A160, linking the A180 and the port of Immingham, will start in summer 2015 and are due to be completed by autumn the following year.
That will bring forward the anticipated completion date of the £130 million scheme by 18 months and ease access to the proposed £100 million developments of the South Humber Gateway, which is expected to generate up to 10,000 jobs.
Key to the development is the planned Able UK Marine Energy Park to supply massive offshore wind farms off the Lincolnshire coast – which alone will generate up to 5,000 posts.
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Announcing the improvement scheme for Immingham, Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: "I am determined to cut the time it takes to upgrade our roads in half by dismantling procedures that have slowed us down.
"Together these schemes will increase capacity for millions of road users by 72 miles. My ambition is that in future all major road schemes will be accelerated, tackling congestion more quickly and boosting the economy."
The accelerated timescale was welcomed by Cleethorpes MP Martin Vickers, who said the new road will enhance jobs and investment.
He said: "The improvement to the A160 to A180 link is something we have been pressing for for some considerable time.
"I have raised it on numerous occasions. I wrote to the new Transport Secretary soon after he was appointed to his post. Within a matter of a few weeks he has responded."
As reported, the A160 currently carries 13,000 vehicles each day – 5,700 of which are HGVs – and those figures are expected to nearly double in the next 15 years.
Described as the final piece in the jigsaw of South Bank infrastructure, Mr Vickers said the duelling of the "vital" link road will pave the way for a construction jobs boost and trigger investment in the area.
He added: "This is going to benefit existing businesses and importantly encourage the development of the area and increase potential investment in the South Humber Energy Park which Able UK hopes to create.
"That will provide jobs both in construction and longer term job prospects, as Able UK has up to 5,000 jobs in the pipeline.
"Such infrastructure is essential to attract new business."
The MP said he would be pleased to invite Mr McLoughlin back to Lincolnshire to open the new route – a job he is no stranger to, having officially opened the A16 Louth bypass in 1991.
Neil Etherington, group development director of Able UK, also welcomed the announcement.
He said: "It is marvellous news. This result today is down to the lobbying strength of the MP and local authorities.
"It is a recognition from Government that the South Humber bank is going to be the place to be. It fits in with what the Prime Minister said at the Confederation of British Industry about short circuiting the delays in planning.
"Our plans are to start in 2014, so this fits hand in glove with our development."