Busy Northampton junction is an ‘accident waiting to happen’... but it won't be upgraded

Nearly 300 worried residents signed a petition calling on the council to install safe, pedestrian-controlled crossings at the junction of Billing Road and Rushmere Road.
Nearly 300 worried residents signed a petition calling on the council to install safe, pedestrian-controlled crossings at the junction of Billing Road and Rushmere Road.

A busy junction that is an ‘accident waiting to happen’ will not be upgraded by cash-strapped Northamptonshire County Council.

Nearly 300 worried residents signed a petition calling on the council to install safe, pedestrian-controlled crossings at the junction of Billing Road and Rushmere Road in Northampton.

But the authority’s traffic management team has said it would be difficult ‘both financially and practically’ to install the crossings.

Katie Moore, who is leading the petition, told councillors that crossing the road was ‘very intimidating’ even for adults, let alone parents with pushchairs or children.

She said: “I cross the road twice a day on the school runs. Every single parent has the same conversation on how you cross it.

“You have lots of kids with their heads buried in their mobile phones and I see children having to dash in front of cars.

“Just as an adult, crossing that road is very intimidating and I make mistakes doing it all the time.”

Although no accidents have been reported at the junction yet, she told the scrutiny management committee that ‘it would be a shame for it to be an accident waiting to happen’.

At a cost of between £500-750k, the council said though that it would be a ‘difficult and very expensive job to complete’.

Debbie Taylor-Bond, head of transport and highways at the council, said: “Regrettably we have to focus on areas where there have been accidents.”

The committee met on Wednesday morning to decide whether the council’s response to the petition – which was submitted in October last year – was adequate.

It concluded that any option to carry out further safety surveys at the site would be ‘welcome’ to determine whether the level of priority was indeed correct.

Councillor Mick Scrimshaw, who sits on the committee, said: “Because so many people were involved in the petition, a little bit more work should have been done before the decision was taken.”

James Averill , Local Democracy Reporting Service