Isham residents step up bypass bid after traffic through village increases again

Traffic passing through Isham.
Traffic passing through Isham.
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A recent traffic count in Isham saw a four per cent increase in vehicles passing through the village.

Each year villagers count traffic over a 24-hour period as part of their long-standing campaign for a bypass.

This year’s count last Thursday (November 3) saw 26,464 vehicle movements on the A509 - up from 25,386 on the same date last year.

Village campaigner Graham Rait says the figures are worrying, especially given recent plans for a huge logistics park on the edge of the village.

He said: “We really need a bypass.

“What we struggle with is that Symmetry [which is planning the logistics park] say that there will only be an extra 300 vehicle movements a day if it gets approved.

“If there’s 2,800 jobs and half come through the village, and then half of those share a car, that’s still 700 vehicles in and out.

“And then there’s the lorries bringing goods in and taking them out. And that’s optimistic.”

There was a 14.4 per cent year-on-year increase in lorries passing through the village, with a staggering 2,279 vehicle movements between 4pm and 5pm.

Mr Rait, who lives in Middle Street, went to the Geddington Bypass to count traffic in the same one-hour period - and saw a much lower number of vehicles.

He added: “I went to the Geddington Bypass but it’s harder to categorise as they’re all going at about 80mph.

“But in that hour there was 1,141 vehicles, almost exactly half.”

Mr Rait also said he would be writing a letter to thank those who assisted him in the count.

A spokesman for Northamptonshire County Council said: “The Isham bypass is a priority scheme for the county council.

“Not only will it help benefit economic growth in the county but it will also bring much needed relief to the village of Isham.

“The design of the scheme has been determined for some time, but unfortunately, funding has not been available to take forward the scheme.

“At present, £15m funding towards the current £38.5m cost of the scheme has been secured through the government’s Growth Deal.

“A bid for a further £10m of Growth Deal funding was submitted in July 2016 and a decision is expected before the end of 2016.

“It is anticipated that the remainder of the money could be secured through the council’s innovative Revolving Infrastructure Fund, which uses the money developers are required to pay when they build housing schemes.”