The proposed east/west link road for Lincoln has moved one step closer.
Lincolnshire County Council's planning and regulation committee said today it was minded to approve the application and provide its support for the Conservation Area Consent proposal.
The Conservation Area Consent application will now be sent to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles, who will assess the application.
His decision will be known within eight weeks.
If the Secretary of State approves the application, the Planning and Regulation Committee will give their full approval. Executive member for highways and transportation, councillor William Webb, said: "With barriers set to be down even longer in the not too distant future at the level crossings, this new road means motorists can get across the city much more easily. "It will open up the former coal yard, offering opportunities for economic growth and regeneration and people can enjoy shopping in a much more open space, as the southern part of the High Street will be fully pedestrianised. "Local buses and cyclists will have priority routes, which hopefully will encourage more people to leave their cars at home and travel in a more environmentally-friendly way.
"We will look to start construction of the new road at the earliest opportunity, hopefully as soon as 2014, for the benefit of all those coming into the city centre, whatever their method of transport." The road will be constructed just south of the railway line and railway station, and link High Street to Pelham Bridge, by extending Tentercroft Street and building a new bridge over Sincil Dike. Construction will take two years.