18 January 2011

The final stage of a two year project designed to improve traffic flow across Northampton and facilitate growth will start this week with work being carried out to bring improvements to four major junctions in the town centre.

Delivered by Northamptonshire County Council, the works will see an enhanced east-west corridor for all traffic and the installation of traffic signals which give priority to buses so that journey times are improved.

Not only will new traffic signals give priority for buses but new technology will mean lights are more responsive to changes in traffic flow, bringing greater benefits for all road users. Pedestrians and cyclists will also benefit from enhanced routes.

The work represents the latest of a series of improvements for Northampton town centre which have been funded through the central government’s Community Infrastructure Fund (CIF).

The council's aim is to provide a road network for Northampton residents that improves journeys and road capacity, allow traffic to move more freely and create more travel choices. It is believed that reduced congestion will mean more reliable journey times for public transport and make it easier for people to change their travel habits.

Cllr Heather Smith, county council cabinet member for highways, minerals and waste, said: “The increase in population and car ownership has placed a strain upon the town's transport infrastructure and, in particular the road network.

“This concept, which is known as modal shift, aims at alleviating the traffic pressures on Northampton by a variety of methods: improving traffic flow and also facilitating the use of alternative modes of transport.

“This is the final stage of this project. We’re seeing the transformation of Gladstone Road taking place and together these works should bring about a tangible improvement.”

The work will take place in four stages:

Phase 1 – Upper Mounts and St Michael’s Road junction improvements. Phase 2 - Regent Square improvements. Phase 3 – Lower Mounts/York Road. Phase 4 – Grafton Street/ St Andrew’s Road.

Northamptonshire County Council and highways service provider MGWSP, will make every effort to keep disruption to a minimum, but some delays will occur while construction work is carried out. The work is scheduled for completion in April.

Works will be carried out under lane restrictions but these will be in non-peak hours (9am to 3.30pm). After assessing a number of alternatives it has been decided that much of the work will also take place in the evenings (after 7pm), which will allow daytime disruption to be minimised as much as possible.