Almost 1,000 sign petition to stop new housing estates in Northampton until adequate roads are built
Pressure is growing on town planners to hit the pause button on new estates due to fears over poor infrastructure.
Schemes are progressing to build both an orbital road around the north west of Northampton as well as a relief road between Harlestone Road and Welford Road. And the latter last week moved to within a few hundred thousand pounds of its funding target.
But an increasing number of residents are worried that the roads will only be built long after the developers building thousands of Northampton houses have packed up and left.
Simon Taylor is one such person and has set up a petition that he intends to hand to Northamptonshire County Council, which has attracted the signatures of 981 people.
He said: "The effectiveness of the planned relief road relies upon a viable and effective orbital road to feed into.
"In all likelihood this could be decades away and so the residents of Kingsthorpe, Whitehills and Boughton will suffer further for many, many years."
In basic terms, the problem faced by the town is that thousands of new residents are set to buy newly-constructed homes in Northampton before major roads to carry them are built.
The first issue is that traffic data unearthed recently shows that a relief road on its own would dump 540 extra vehicles into the Kingsthorpe area during every morning rush hour.
Secondly, the orbital road that would substantially ease that congestion cannot be be built before several new housing estates. This is because the funds to lay the orbital road will only be released by the developers after the new homes are bought.
Such a cart-before-the-horse scenario could condemn the town to years of congestion before money for a solution arrives.
Mr Taylor urged the county's leaders to come together to stop major developments and the two bypass schemes until a better infrastructure plan can be formed.
He said: "Let’s protect the interests of the people of Northampton.
"Remember, we live here, the developers are just transitory and it’s us who will be stuck with the consequences whilst they count their profits and move on to their next project."