Cash to go towards road improvements on HS2 route in Northamptonshire

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A long list of potential road improvements for areas affected by the upcoming construction of HS2 is being drawn up by Northamptonshire County Council.

The county council is set to benefit from £1.65 million of funding from the Department for Transport for road improvement works to locations along the rail route - but needs to draw up a list of potential schemes in order to draw down the funding.

The first phase of the controversial high-speed rail line was given Royal Assent in February 2017, and would see the line between London and the Midlands pass through Northamptonshire between Brackley and Upper Boddington.

And county council papers reveal that 18 potential schemes have already been listed in villages such as Boddington, Croughton, Evenley and Thorpe Mandeville.

They include traffic calming measures, safer pedestrian crossings and safer junctions for cyclists, pedestrians and drivers.

The council says that the funds won’t be spent just on locations directly on route, but also on areas that would see an increase in construction traffic.

Speaking about the funding at a county council cabinet meeting on Tuesday (November 13), Councillor Ian Morris, the portfolio holder for transport, said: “This money has to be spent on road safety improvements such as improving junctions for drivers, and this will deliver some much-needed relief to the areas that are affected by HS2.”

He added that a sum of £82,500, to be spent on feasibility studies and designs, had not yet been sent by HS2 Ltd to the council as it was still ‘stuck in their accounting system’.

This, Councillor Morris said, would make a timescale for the project ‘difficult to predict’, however, cabinet papers reveal the authority’s intention to submit its proposed schemes by April 2019.

The cabinet report outlined that engagement workshops will be held with parish and town councils along the route to input into the proposed delivery programme that will then be agreed with HS2 Ltd.