The chair of a residents’ association has warned that Northampton will “grind to a standstill” in 18 months if work does not start on the plan to complete Northampton’s “ring road."
Patrick Cross, chair of the Whitehills & Spring Park Residents Association (Waspra), claims town faces a “tipping point” where up to 10,000 extra cars brought by families at new housing developments will cause ‘total gridlock’ unless the plans to ease congestion are put into effect.
Mr Cross said: “Between 2014 and 2021, there will be an additional 5,500 houses built within a two-kilometre radius of one of our busiest pinch point junctions, namely the junction of the Welford and Harborough Road. This will bring an extra 10,000 cars between them.
“My prediction is that in 18 months, Kingsthorpe will grind to a total standstill.
“Waspra believes the only solution is the completion of the North West Relief Road and an orbital road around the north of the town.
“Without that dual carriageway solution, that tipping point and total traffic gridlock in Kingsthorpe will get closer day by day.”
A £150 million plan to complete the Northampton ‘northern orbital road’ is yet to progress past the planning stage as Northamptonshire County Council has not decided the route.
Currently, Northampton’s main road system forms a ‘horseshoe’ shape through and around the south of the town.
It leaves HGVs and motorists little option but to travel through the town and potentially into surrounding villages, causing congestion.
The proposal aims to link the A1599 Welford Road and the A43 Kettering Road to form a ring road around Northampton.
This would redirect traffic around the town and not through it in the hopes of easing congestion.
The project could cost up to £135million and take six years to complete.
Ian Morris, cabinet member for transport, highways and environment, said: “We’re fully supportive of the orbital road but it’s a question of funding, which we just don’t have at the moment.
“Mr Cross could well be right about the traffic but it will take time to gather the funds.
“We’re working hard on other road traffic congestion-easing efforts across the county as a top priority.
“I want to reaffirm our commitment to the orbital road scheme. We are working hard as a council to collect the funds and lobby Government for their support.”
County councillor Danielle Stone said:
"We have been waiting a long time for the orbital road to be built. To be honest with all the housing development taking place and going to take place over the next twenty years it is necessary. Northampton's roads are highly congested and anything that helps ease the pressure is essential. I hope they just get on with it."