11 May 2010

Proposals have been outlined by Northamptonshire County Council which aim to reduce congestion on a busy commuter route into Northampton.

The project which focuses on the A45, particularly the Barnes Meadow Roundabout, will reduce congestion, develop bus reliability, improve road safety and bring environmental benefits.

Essentially works would reduce the time it takes to make the journey from Wellingborough and Earls Barton into Northampton through a raft of measures, which include:

  • An extra multiple occupancy vehicle lane (more than one person travelling in the vehicle) on the A45 westbound off the slip approaching Barnes Meadow and also on the Barnes Meadow Roundabout.
  • Traffic light improvements on bus routes from Wellingborough and Earls Barton into Northampton town centre to increase journey time reliability.
  • Extra lanes on the Barnes Meadow Roundabout to ease congestion at this busy intersection.

The £5.3 million project has been funded by the government through the Homes and Community Agency. The money is from the Community Infrastructure Fund (CIF) which supports transport costs in growth areas.

The Barnes Meadow roundabout, where the A45 and the A428 meet is one of the busiest junctions in the county, seeing around 7,000 vehicles using the interchange during the morning and evening rush-hours.

Cllr Heather Smith, county council cabinet member for environment, growth and transport, said: “This is a very busy stretch of road, particularly in the morning and evening peak hours, so it is essential that this work is done to help alleviate the congestion.

“I’m confident these measures will reduce congestion, by improving the overall capacity of the intersection, as well as encouraging bus travel and car sharing, which will in turn be of benefit in reducing carbon emissions and improving the local environment.

“With Northamptonshire being one of the hotspots for growth nationally we have to evolve the transport network so that it is ready for this additional development.”

Traffic light installations at the following junctions will be upgraded for bus priority working:

  • Wellingborough – Northampton Road/Kingsway/Queensway junction.
  • Earls Barton – A4500/B573 junction.
  • Northampton – Cliftonville Road/Billing Road/Alfred Street junction.
  • Northampton – Wellingborough Road/St Edmund’s Street junction.

A public exhibition displaying the proposals will be on show in the reception area of Riverside House, Bedford Road, Northampton between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday to Friday, from Monday, May 17 to Friday, May 28.

Work on the improvements is scheduled to start in late July.