Bygones: Peace at last - as bypass restores village's serenity
IN AUGUST 1962, Sir Weston Cracroft Amcotts, then chairman of Lindsey County Council, fired a gun in the air to mark an important day in the history of Laceby.
It was the start of work on the village bypass.
And for the village it heralded the end of traffic problems which had existed for more than 60 years, congestion being particularly bad on summer weekends.
Even in the early 1890s there were problems, with a parish magazine recording the opening of the rectory gardens to local people so they could escape the thick dust being thrown up by cart traffic.
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By 1938, the average number of vehicles which passed through the village was reported to total 3,300 a day. At weekends, counts of more than 1,000 an hour were recorded.
Motorists found themselves caught up in a nightmare which was bad even by today's standards.
For many years the road through Laceby was little more than a track. In 1920, it was taken over by Lindsey County Council from Grimsby District Council and was said to be in a sorry state being full of potholes.
These were filled in and the authority decided to experiment with a new type of road covering – Tarmacadam. It was the first time that this had been used in the area. It was brought by rail to Grimsby and then laid out by contractors. But although an improvement, this was not the answer to Laceby's problems.
Traffic continued to build up and was not helped by the road surface. In hot summer weather the tar would boil up, with the result that by the end of the summer the road would be smooth and shiny.
By the 1950s traffic was increasing rapidly with an average of 8,700 vehicles a day by August 1961.
Pre-war plans for a bypass were revised some 30 years after first drawings were made, the new road being further away from the village than had previously been envisaged. By 1958, preliminary work had been done and eventually the bypass opened at the start of 1963.
Laceby was, at last, a peaceful village again.