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Last Updated: Tuesday, 26 February 2008, 07:55 GMT
Work starts on 80m road scheme
Work has started on an 80m road improvement in Lincolnshire and Cambridgeshire that has been mired in controversy for years.

Former county council leader Jim Speechley was jailed in 2004 for attempting to influence the route of the A1073 from Spalding to Eye.

The route of the road was finally resolved at a public inquiry.

Transport Minister Rosie Winterton will officially launch the construction of the project on Tuesday.

Funding delays

A Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership report on the existing A1073 shows that there were two fatal accidents on the road between July 2004 and July 2007. There were also seven serious accidents in the same period.

The upgrading of the 22-kilometre stretch of the road should be finished by the end of 2010.

The scheme encountered many delays as a debate took place over the funding and route for the project.

Former council leader Mr Speechley was jailed after a jury decided he had tried to benefit financially from the route of the new road.

The road runs from the A16 at Spalding through the Cowbit and Crowland area down to Eye and the A47 in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire.

The route is considered a vital link in south Lincolnshire, particularly for heavy goods vehicles in the food distribution industry.

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