£3m funding agreed for Northampton relief road

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More than £3m will be put towards a new road in Northampton by the county council.

The Northampton North West Relief Road will link the A428 Harlestone Road with the A5199 Welford Road, via a junction in Grange Farm.

Councillors on the county council’s cabinet agreed on Tuesday (October 9) to utilise just over £3m of capital funding towards the project.

Criticism has been levelled at the scheme from some members of the public though, with 1,200 residents responding to a consultation.

Designed to ease congestion, campaigners instead claim the roads will save only 40 seconds off any journey, but are part of a larger scheme to open up north Northampton for housing development.

And a residents association estimates that the relief road, while good for the Dallington and Buckton Fields areas, would increase traffic in Kingsthorpe, Boughton and Whitehills by up to 87 per cent.

Cabinet papers said the road will provide ‘additional capacity’ and will also ‘enable development at Buckton Fields, Dallington Grange and Northampton West’.

The meeting at One Angel Square saw cabinet agree to a preferred route for the relief road, and to back the scheme with a £3.1m sum that will ensure the preparation of a planning application, an environmental statement and a business case.

Cabinet member for transport Ian Morris said: "This relief road has been a long priority. We need this for infrastructure to support the growth we will get.

“The next step is to submit a planning application in Spring 2019. We would all like to see infrastructure before development, but unfortunately funding doesn't work like that and we have to work backwards from housing.”

The section of the relief road from the A428 to Grange Farm will be constructed by the developers of Dallington Grange as a single carriageway.

The county council though will be responsible for building the section of road across the railway line to reach the A5199 Welford Road.

Cllr Morris added: “We are funded for the single carriageway, not the dual carriageway. We only have money for the single track.

"We have no plan for that second road yet, but it may be a priority for the new unitary authority."

Northampton Borough Council has also pledged £2.5m of capital investment to the project, while SEMLEP is also providing funding.