'This is a hostile meeting': Northampton residents tell highways chiefs the north-west relief road just won't work

The Kingsthorpe Residents' Association meeting saw dozens of concerned residents take issue with the planned North-West Relief Road.
The Kingsthorpe Residents' Association meeting saw dozens of concerned residents take issue with the planned North-West Relief Road.

Multi-million pound plans to build a north-west relief road in Northampton will simply open up land for 3,000 new homes in the north of the town and dump thousands of cars in Kingsthorpe - a fiery public meeting heard this week.

Northamptonshire County Council was awarded a £7.93 million grant to build the new road between the A428 Harlestone Road and the A5199 Welford Road last year and indicative routes have now been consulted upon.

Many felt the orbital route should be built at the same time as the north-west relief road.

Many felt the orbital route should be built at the same time as the north-west relief road.

The section from the A428 to just south of the railway line will be constructed by the developers of the Dallington Grange housing scheme and the first part of the section has already been built as part of the Harlestone Manor development.

But many people in Kingsthorpe believe the north-west relief road needs to be completed at the same time as the proposed Northern Orbital Route between the A5199 and the A43 so cars travelling west to east are not dumped out at the Windhover pub with no prospect fo a ring road being completed.

A meeting of Kingsthorpe residents association this week saw dozens of residents voice their concerns at the plans, many of whom felt the relief road would simply open up land for further development rather than alleviate the existing traffic woes at the Cock Hotel junction.

Whitehills man Alan Hames, a former civil engineer and road designer himself, said: "I see this as a way to open up the land for 3,000 houses.

"The orbital road is just pie in the sky."

Mr Hames, who worked with both Northampton Borough Council and Northamptonshire County Council during a 36-year career, said each new house in the area land south of the relief road could generate eight trips per day and around 6,000 extra journeys Kingsthorpe.

He said: "The only way I see of overcoming this is - we don't commit to building the north-west relief road without financial commitment for the whole package.

"Hold back on this road because we already have great difficulty in dealing with what we've got."

Campaigner Charlotte Mackaness told the meeting: "This road is being held up as the big mitigating factor to push through these housing developments.

"It's not a mitigating factor, it's not going to help congestion."

Answering questions from the public, Northamptonshire highways official Debbie Taylor-Bond said the funding package for the larger orbital route was still being worked on adding that no funding has been secured for the road so far. the only indicative start date given so far is 2023.

A large amount of the money will have to come from contributions paid by housing developers though, she added.

But Noel Clements, a man who has lived in Kingsthorpe for 25 years, told the Highways officials to take note from the "hostility" towards the north-west relief road scheme during the meeting.

"I went to a meeting for the new bus station a few years ago and that was hostile," he said.

"Let's take notice of what is being said here.

"This is a hostile meeting, we don't want what's going on the board."

Councillor Sally Beardsworth (Lib Dem, Kingsthorpe) told the meeting: "We know now that for years the Cock Hotel junction has been at its capacity for years.

"With this road ending at the Windhover (pub) I am very concerned about people coming into work and into school.

"I don't think this road is the answer.

"It is going to cause an awful lot of problems for people in Kingsthorpe."