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Public meeting called to protest against allowing traffic back into Abington Street

Coloured markings in Abington Street.

Coloured markings in Abington Street.

A public meeting protesting against plans to reopen Abington Street in Northampton to traffic is being held later this month.

Labour and Liberal Democrat politicians say the scheme, which is costing £3 million, has been put through without following procedure and does not have a mandate from businesses, residents or shoppers.

The plan, proposed by Northampton Borough Council, would see the road opened up from between St Giles Terrace and Wellington Street.

Danielle Stone, (Lab, Abington & Phippsville) said: “We think it’s important that people have a chance to make their voices heard on plans that will so drastically impact the future of our town.

“This meeting will give everyone a chance to do that, and to ask questions, and will give the council the opportunity to clarify the justification for going ahead with plans that seem so wildly unpopular.”

Sally Beardsworth, (Lib Dem, Kingsthorpe South) added: “The leadership of the borough council seems unwilling to listen to the people of Northampton – we hope that a public meeting will give the opportunity for a meaningful debate of the plans, and will make the Conservatives sit up and listen.”

James Wishart, of St. Edmund’s Residents Association, said: “It is a clear signal of how dangerous these plans are that political parties are putting aside their differences to try and safeguard the future of our town.

“The council must stand back and contemplate what they are doing with such haste. The scheme will seriously damage the air of calm and relaxation that is at present enjoyed in the centre of our town.”

The public meeting will take place on Tuesday, February 18 at 6pm in the Courtroom at the Guildhall.

The leader of Northampton Borough Council, David Mackintosh (Con, Rectory Farm), said: “I think the opposition parties need to be honest about their motives for calling a public meeting, given that a decision has already been made and work is about to begin.

“The reopening of Abington Street has already been publicly discussed at the borough council cabinet meetings in July and December 2013 and at the borough full council meeting in December 2013.

“It was also publicly debated at the county council cabinet and scrutiny meetings in January after a public consultation and a further consultation on the Traffic Regulation Order.

‘This is another ham fisted attempt by the opposition parties to block a project that will help our local economy and drive Northampton forward.

“Again it proves the Conservatives are the can do party, Labour are the wont do party, the Lib Dems are the didn’t do party and UKIP are the God-only -knows-what-they-would-do party.”

 

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