The main construction phase of a Northamptonshire County Council project designed to improve commuter journeys along a major Northampton transport route is set to start in the New Year.
The St James Square area has been chosen as the first of three routes in Northampton to be upgraded to reduce congestion and improve air quality as part of the Smart Corridor Initiative.
The main construction work will start on Wednesday, 4 January. The first stage of the project will focus on Weedon Road, Harlestone Road and St James Road with round-the-clock lane closures in place.
Additionally the right turn from Weedon Road into Harlestone Road will not be possible to allow work to be carried out safely. This will be in place until the end of March.
What about local access?
Businesses in the area will be open as usual and access will be maintained at all times for residents. Buses will run as normal, although it will be necessary to occasionally set up some temporary stops.
The left turn from Spencer Bridge road into Weedon Road will be closed off at some times during the construction period. It is intended to ban this turn in the final scheme to increase the capacity of this junction and means that pedestrians have a much safer route at this junction.
Once the construction work has finished, resurfacing will be carried out in May before the scheduled completion of the scheme in June.
What improvements will there be?
Some of the improvements coming to the St James Square area include:
- Interactive transport information posts with live information that could include local weather, air quality, events and attractions.
- Installation of a new bus shelter with real-time passenger information being displayed
- Free WIFI access at bus stops
- Sensor instalment – bluetooth journey time coverage and cycle and pedestrian counters at key entry and exit points.
- Air quality sensors
- Enhanced traffic signals to prioritise buses
- A Cycle CoNNect hub for cycle hire
- Electric car charging bays
The St James Square area is one of three corridors being developed in Northampton with central government funding available until 2019. The other corridors which will be developed are the Kingsthorpe Road corridor and the Kettering Road corridor.