26 November 2014

Improvements to Northampton’s Gas Street roundabout will stop over the Christmas period to ease disruption for both businesses and shoppers in what is one of the busiest times of the year.

The last working day before the festive break will be on Friday, December 5 with the Northamptonshire County Council project resuming on Monday, January 5.

What changes will there be?

During this time, approaches to the roundabout will be opened up to provide lanes for traffic.

Approaching from Towcester Road, two lanes will be open rather than the current one lane that is open.

Cllr Michael Clarke, county council cabinet member for transport, highways and environment, said: “This is a very important scheme for Northampton and its growing economy. We’ve secured funding from the government to carry out this work, which is essential to enable economic growth over the next few years, complementing the development of the Northampton Waterside enterprise zone.

“We’re aware that large schemes in busy town centres can be very disruptive and we’ve introduced a number of measures to try and mitigate this.

“We have some wonderful businesses in the town and we believe it’s important to do what we can to encourage trade at this busy time of year.”

Why is the work needed?

This £6.8million Northamptonshire County Council scheme is part of wider works in the town to improve parts of the highways infrastructure that is at over capacity.

Northamptonshire County Council secured £3.87million from the Department for Transport’s Local Pinch Point funding pot – one of just 10 initiatives to do so nationwide.

The funding comes from central government and is earmarked for growth. To secure the funding there is a requirement that the money is used by April 2015.

The programme was initially nine months but, through more efficiencies and weekend working, the programme has been reduced to six months so that it can be completed as soon as possible.

From the start of the works drivers, who did not want to come into town, have been encouraged to use alternative routes. Traffic signals on these other routes have been adjusted to ensure they would be able to deal better with any additional traffic volumes.

All businesses have full access for those wanting to shop in this part of Northampton and this will be maintained throughout the project.