Live travel information to be displayed on "totems" across St James as part of Northants Councity Council's 'smart corridor plans' plans

A new smart corridor scheme is being introduced in St James in a bid to relieve congestion there.

A new smart corridor scheme is being introduced in St James in a bid to relieve congestion there.

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The often-congested roads around the St James area of Northampton could be turned into a "smart corridor" complete with "totems" displaying live travel information, weather forecasts and events under plans being unveiled by the county council.

The authority has announced a start date of November 14 for the scheme, which it hopes will ease the clogged routes of Weedon Road and St James Road .

The project will see "interactive transport information totems" put in place, which will broadcast live information such as "local weather, air quality, events and attractions."

A new bus shelter will be installed that displays real-time passenger information, while other bus stops will be fitted with free WIFI.

Sensors will be put in place along the busiest stretches giving drivers an idea of the journey time ahead, while plans also include more Cycle CoNNEct hubs in St James and electric car charging bays.

The St James area will be the first of three zones in Northampton to become "smart corridors", Northamptonshire County Council says, with public information events planned next week.

Cabinet member for transport and highways, Councillor Ian Morris, said: “Technology has improved at an incredible rate over the past few years and today commuters expect the latest information to be immediately available at the touch of a button.

“Therefore it’s essential that our transport networks keep up with these changes. We all know how frustrating it can be to be held up in traffic and not know what the problem is or how long we will be there. Keeping people informed as much as we can is a step in the right direction.

“Information about when the next bus might be arriving can also be useful in helping people make decisions on which type of transport to take – for example should they walk or maybe hire one of the Cycle CoNNect bikes.”

The other two areas being considered for a smart corridor are in Kingsthorpe and Kettering Road.

However central Government funding for the schemes is only available until 2019.

The council is hosting two public information events for people to learn more about the smart corridors.

They are:

Thursday, November 3 - 9.30am to 6.30pm at St James Community Centre, St James Road, Northampton.

Saturday, November 5 - 9.30am to 6.30pm at Doddridge Centre, St James Road, Northampton.

Work on the project will start on Monday, November 14, with preparatory works taking place over the next few weeks. Between January and July roadworks will require some traffic management and lane closures.