|Location Map ( geo)|
|A1 south from Warren Road bridleway bridge|
|From:||Carpenters Lodge (TF036045)|
|To:||Tickencote Interchange (SK993094)|
|31st October 1960|
The Stamford Bypass, was a major road scheme constructed to the west of Stamford, allowing the A1 to bypass the town centre. It was opened on 31 October 1960 by Ernest Marples, Minister for Transport.
The project constructed about 4 miles of two-lane dual carriageway with roundabouts at each end - Carpenters Lodge Roundabout at the southern end and Tickencote Roundabout at the northern end). The northern roundabout upgraded to a grade separated junction in 1971 and the southern roundabout upgraded to a compact grade separated junction in 2009.
It crosses the River Welland, on a concrete arch bridge.
The story of the Stamford bypass probably mirrors a lot of towns which were tantalisingly close to having a bypass in the 1920s and 1930s.
The 1920s – The early scheme
Traffic problems started to build up in the 1920s, not helped by the town's narrow streets and on street parking. Calls for a bypass started to be made, and in February 1929 Kesteven County Council asked the Ministry for a grant of 75% towards the scheme. The Ministry replied that it was not in a position to make a grant. This was before the Trunk Roads Act 1936 so the A1 through Kesteven was still the County's responsibility.
In November 1929 the Ministry offered a grant of 85% of approved expenditure if 50% of the labour of the scheme was taken from distressed areas designated by Ministry of Labour. The Council resolved that the grant should be accepted and that Stamford Corporation should contribute one third of the balance of remaining cost. The estimated cost at this stage was £52,000.
Not everyone agreed with the scheme. A petition against the scheme had been sent to the Minister who put a stop on it for a period, but then it was approved in the original form subject to further consideration of detail by the Divisional Engineer. However these minor details had the potential to increase costs and so further negotiation dragged on into 1930.
The 1930s – Two false hopes
The differences must have been sorted since in October 1930 the Council received the sanction to proceed from the Ministry. The Treasury had approved a grant of 85% of the total cost, now £62,000, leaving the cost to Stamford at £3,093 and the County Council £6,187. Everything was then arranged for its construction and then the Ministry changed their mind, funding was not now available.
The County Council kept trying. In May 1934 it again applied for funding but the Ministry regretted that they did not have the funds to make a grant. However Stamford Town Council were of the opinion that the County Council were not keen on the scheme and had not done everything possible to get a grant. It was perhaps a little unfair since the County Council included the bypass in its 1935-36 programme, subject to a 75% grant from the Ministry.
With the Trunk Roads Act 1936 it passed into the Government's hands. The County Council scheme was rejected and it took until January 1938 for a new scheme to be approved. This was the bypass route of today. The 4.2 mile road was to start 1.5 miles south of Stamford alongside Burghley Park Golf Course, and rejoin the Great North Road 2.5 miles north of the town after also bypassing Great Casterton. It now was to cost £300,000.
First there was a Public Inquiry at Stamford Town Hall on 20th October 1938. It all went through and on 9th May 1939 the Trunk Road Orders were published for the Stamford Bypass. Then the war intervened.
The 1950s and 1960s – The bypass opens
Lack of funding precluded any action until the late 1950s. In March 1958 the Government said that it was hoped that work would start on the bypass in Spring 1959 with the road to open in 1960. When asked a year later it said the start date would be in Summer 1959. The cost was now £1.5million.
As well as the bypass there were dual carriageways constructed at either end. There were 14 bridges across roads, rivers and railways. Over a million yards of earth were excavated, 23 miles of drainage pipes installed, 43 miles of kerbs laid and 1,500 piles driven in to carry the bridges. With better progress in the winter than expected the road was opened ahead of schedule.
It was opened on 31 October 1960 by Ernest Marples, Minister for Transport.