New speed limits for Market Rasen and Lincolnshire Wolds roads

Published on 14 February 2024, by Gainsboroughlive | No comments yet |

New speed limit restrictions have been given the go ahead for a Lincolnshire road that has seen eight fatal crashes and 260 casualties in 14 years. The A631, between Market Rasen and Louth, will have new limits on three stretches after a unanimous vote by Lincolnshire County Council’s planning committee.

Despite nine objections from residents who said that the national speed limit of 60mph was more suitable for a rural road, councillors voted in favour of the proposals. Cllr Stephen Bunney previously said that “hardly a year had gone by” in his three decades in the area without a serious crash, and Cllr Thomas Ashton said during the meeting the council “has to start somewhere”.

Under the new scheme, the council will introduce 50mph limits on stretches between Market Rasen and North Willingham, North Willingham and Ludford, and on both approaches to South Elkington. The proposals also involved a new 40mph limit through the built-up area to the south that would include the junction with A157 and the extension of the 30mph limit along Willingham Road in Market Rasen.

Those criticising the plan said decreasing the speed limit might cause riskier overtaking, possibly causing more accidents, and that journey times might get “unreasonably” longer. They also wondered if enforcing the new limit may be an issue.

Cllr Bunney responded by saying that while many locals know the road well, it tends to worry outsiders. He commented: “It is very clear that the people in North Willingham are very concerned about the speed on the route. A slower speed will hopefully prevent further accidents.”

He also mentioned that traffic issues near De Aston School, in Willingham Road, regularly impact children’s safety. Cllr Ian Carrington chimed in saying the road has “an absolutely fierce reputation”.

To make this risky road safer, the county council applied for funding from the Government’s £175m Safer Roads Fund. This was after the Road Safety Foundation ranked it amongst the 50 riskiest A-class roads in the country.

About the A631 in West Lindsey

The A631 crosses Trent Bridge, Gainsborough it enters West Lindsey and Lincolnshire. It then goes through Gainsborough, meeting two spurs of Lea Road and Trinity Street (A159) at a roundabout. There is an exit for Thorndike Way, the A631 Gainsborough Relief Road, which opened in March 1974. Lindsey County Council intended to continue the dual carriageway all the way to the A15 at Caenby Corner. On the southern relief road, it passes The Gainsborough Academy (former Trent Valley Academy) to the south, and there is a right turn at traffic lights for Heapham RoadCorringham Road (B1433), the former route, is to the left, and nearby is the Road Safety Markings Association.

At Woodhouse Farm it resumes its former route. As Corringham Road it enters Corringham, passing the Beckett Arms. There is a left turn for Hemswell Lane, and it continues as Harpswell Lane, becoming the parish boundary for two miles between Hemswell and Harpswell. It climbs the Lincoln Cliff to meet Middle Street (B1398) at a roundabout at Harpswell. It becomes the parish boundary between Hemswell Cliff and Harpswell, with the former RAF Hemswell (where The Dam Busters was filmed in 1954) adjacent on the left, and the Hemswell Court conference centre on the right. There is a right turn for Dog Kennel Road (for Glentworth). The road becomes the parish boundary of Hemswell Cliff and Glentworth. At Caenby Corner it meets the A15 at a roundabout near the TOTAL Caenby Corner Garage, and passes through the parish of Glentham. Near Highfield Farm it becomes the parish boundary of Glentham and Caenby, then passes through Glentham and the Crown Inn, and in the distance are the Lincolnshire Wolds. At Bishopbridge it crosses the River Ancholme, which is its must southern navigable point. It passes The Bell and becomes the parish boundary between Osgodby (to the north) and West Rasen (to the south).

At Kingerby Wood, the A1103 continues for four miles to the left as a trunk road to the A46, and the A631 leaves to the right as a non-trunk road. Most traffic will follow the A1103 for Grimsby. The road becomes more twisty and meets a roundabout at West Rasen, where it crosses the River Rase. As Gainsborough Road it meets the trunk road A46, from the right, at Middle Rasen where the A46 does not have priority. It follows the A46 for a half-mile, and the A46 continues to the left, with the A631 leaving at a right turn. It enters Market Rasen as Gainsborough Road then becomes King Street. It meets the B1202 (former A46) from the left, and as Queen Street passes under the Newark to Grimsby Line then is crosses by the B1203 at traffic lights. As Willingham Road it passes the De Aston School and Market Rasen Racecourse on the right. In Tealby parish it passes through Willingham Woods.

It passes through North Willingham, with a right turn for Sixhills. It then ascends the western edge of the Lincolnshire Wolds as Willingham Road to 142 metres height, crossing Caistor High Street (B1225) at Boucherette Farm, where it enters East Lindsey. It passes through Ludford where it is briefly followed by the Viking Way, passing the Black Horse on the right and the White Hart. At a crossroads the Viking Way leaves to the right. It passes through the parish of Calcethorpe with Kelstern, with a left turn for Kelstern. It passes Cotes Grange Farm with a crossroads for Welton le Wold, to the right. It passes through South Elkington, where in the parish of Elikington it terminates at the A157 just outside Louth (53.3652°N 0.0339°W).

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