07 March 2011

A Northamptonshire County Council project which aims to reduce congestion on a busy commuter route into Northampton is nearing completion.

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

Most of the work has now been carried out including the installation of improved traffic signals in Wellingborough, Earls Barton and Northampton.

Construction is still being completed on the Barnes Meadow interchange to finish the new third lane leading from the A45 to the Bedford Road into Northampton.

The project will be substantially completed by the end of March, however some works will still have to be carried out on one section at the bridge on Bedford Road.

The adverse weather, specifically the extremely low temperatures, prevented some time critical concrete work on the bridge from being carried out in December. In addition major problems with utilities diversions also within this area have also delayed work on this particular section. The remainder of the project will however be opened to traffic as of the end of March as planned.

A spokesman for Northamptonshire County Council said: “This is a huge project at one of the busiest junctions in the county and has taken an enormous amount of organisation and coordination to ensure the work can be done safely and at the same time minimize disruption to the travelling public.

“These final stages of the project should not have a major effect on motorists and we’d like to thank drivers and passengers for their continued patience during the scheme.”

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.

Essentially works will 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.
  • New traffic lights on the Rushmere Road entry to the roundabout to improve safety by enhancing junction capacity.

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

As part of the project, work is also being carried out to improve road surfaces in the Barnes Meadow area and this will be carried out during night closures between Monday to Friday for two weeks commencing on March 7, from 8:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.