01 November 2010

Work will start on November 8 on improvements to the junction of Northampton Road and Northfield Avenue.

Delivered by Northamptonshire County Council, the scheme will replace the existing traffic lights with a double roundabout to improve traffic flow at one of the county’s most congested junctions. The work has been made possible following the purchase of land adjacent to the site by Kettering Borough Council earlier this year.

The new junction, which is expected to be completed by April 2011, will provide better access to the town centre as well as improved crossing facilities for pedestrians and cyclists.

The junction improvements form part of a much wider programme of improvement in Kettering, which includes Kettering Borough Council’s improvements to the Market Place, Horsemarket, Market Street and Sheep Street.

The improvements to Northampton Road are being delivered in response to widespread support from local residents, who took part in public consultation in October/November 2009, as part of the Kettering Town Centre Area Action Plan process.

The stretch of Northfield Avenue between Northampton Road and Station Road will still be open to pedestrians during this period but, in order for the work to take place, will be closed to traffic with appropriate diversions put in place. The closure will be kept under review during the improvement works.

The project has received £1.6 million through the Government’s Growth Fund, managed for North Northamptonshire by the North Northants Development Company (NNDC), together with other funding sources. An additional £315,000 has come from the county council.

Cllr Heather Smith, county council cabinet member for transport, minerals and waste, said: “There’s an enormous amount of work being done to enhance Kettering town centre and this junction improvement is one of the key elements in the project.

“As Kettering continues to grow it’s important that the correct infrastructure is in place. This is a very busy junction so it’s important that we make sure it can cope with the additional traffic in the future.”

Councillor Mark Dearing, Kettering Borough Council’s Portfolio Holder for Retail and Business said: “We are pleased that the purchase of the old Kettering Cars Site by Kettering Borough Council has allowed this improvement works to take place.

“We appreciate that in the short term there are likely to be some disruptions, but the flow of traffic through the town will be improved as a result of this work. There is a lot of activity in the town at the moment which, when complete, will pay dividends for the town for many years to come.”

Simon Evans, chief executive officer of NNDC, said: “These improvements will bring significant long-term benefits and investment to Kettering town centre and are another excellent example of Growth Funds having a positive impact in North Northamptonshire.”