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A631 speed limit changes considered after 8 deaths in 14 years

A lower speed limit and other changes are being considered for a Lincolnshire road in light of 260 crashes – including eight fatal collisions – being reported since 2010. Proposals have been put forward for the A631, between Market Rasen and Louth, and will be discussed at a Lincolnshire County Council planning committee meeting on Monday, February 12.

However, opponents of the scheme say it will unreasonably impact journey times. Cllr Stephen Bunney said he felt “hardly a year had gone by” in his 30 years living in the area without “at least one fatal accident”.

He added that students at Market Rasen’s De Aston School were under “significant threat” from drivers travelling at 60mph down the road. Councillors are keen to address their issues with the A631, which the Road Safety Foundation found to be one of the 50 highest-risk A-class roads in the country back in 2016.

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They want to introduce 50mph limits on stretches between the market town and North Willingham, North Willingham and Ludford, and only both approaches to South Elkington. A 40mph limit would also be introduced through the developed area further south to include the junction with the A157, and the 30mph in Willingham Road would be extended.

The authority has submitted a bid for a share of the Government’s £175-million Safer Roads Fund, set up to reduce collisions and fatalities on accident hotspots in all four corners of the nation – including the A631. The scheme has been in the works since 2021, but issues with signage and illumination requirements meant the two-year window to make the changes was missed.

A total of nine objections to the changes have been put to the county council, with many citing concerns that a 50mph limit for large sections of this road would be “unnecessary and inappropriate for the prevailing conditions”. Other objectors have said a speed reduction might also encourage more risky overtaking manoeuvres, which will bring with it more accidents.

Despite this, recommendations have been made to overrule the objections and press ahead with the speed limit changes. The scheme meets the funding criteria and officers anticipate it will “contribute to the overall success of this accident reduction scheme”.

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