14 June 2011

A much needed road improvement project which will greatly relieve traffic congestion and improve public transport reliability on a major route into Northampton will start on Tuesday (June 21).

Northamptonshire County Council’s Kingsthorpe Corridor improvements will enhance the road layout of the Harborough Road in Kingsthorpe between Welford Road and the Cock Hotel junction.

The project is part of a wider initiative by the county council to improve traffic flows along radial routes to and from the town centre.

Cllr Andre Gonzalez De Savage, county council cabinet member for infrastructure and public protection, said: “Northampton is a fast evolving town and it is essential that we keep pace with this development by adapting the urban transport network to the growing needs of county people.

“The Kingsthorpe Corridor is a busy route into the town centre and I believe this work will go a long way to ensure that the road system can accommodate the growing amount of traffic and, at the same time, persuade people to use public transport by bringing more consistency and efficiency to bus journey times.

“I’m delighted that we’ve found a way to start work on the project now and construction can take advantage of the summer holiday period when the roads are relatively quiet and work conditions are more favourable, as well as utilising longer daylight hours.”

The work will focus on three sections of the Kingsthorpe Corridor: at The Cock Hotel Junction; from Kingsthorpe Grove to Kingsland Avenue and the Welford Road/Harborough Road Junction.

Improvements will include carriageway widening to allow easier traffic flow, more effective traffic signals to minimise congestion and improve bus journey times, the re-positioning of pedestrian crossings as well as improved footways.

The project was due to start in Spring of last year but was shelved after uncertainty about public sector funding and the spending review by central government.

The £2.2 million construction project – paid for from the county council’s highways budget – is only possible by spreading the funding over two financial years.

Normally this would have meant construction starting in the autumn before the busy Christmas period and continuing through the unfavourable dark and wet winter months, into the next financial year.

However the council’s highways service provider MGWSP has offered to forward fund the extra in-year costs making it possible for construction to take place over the lighter, drier summer months. The balance would then be repaid from next year’s highways budget.

The council is also considering the possibility of night working to accelerate the works so that they can be finished before the December embargo on works permitted on traffic-sensitive highways.