Councils unite to tackle Northampton's congestion crisis with plan to rework roads around North Gate Bus Station
Parking outside the North Gate Bus Station will be banned in a bid to fight slow-moving traffic, councillors say.
The announcement comes as part of a joint plan by Northampton Borough Council and Northamptonshire County Council to improve traffic flow in Northampton town centre.
Gridlock traffic has brought the town to a stop several times in recent months, leading to calls on both councils to rework Northampton's roads.
Councillor Jonathan Nunn, leader of Northampton Borough Council, said: "Northampton has so much to offer but we understand how frustrating congestion is for anyone caught up in it, as well as the impact it has on local business, so delivering these improvements will stay a priority for us.”
Over the next few months, the new measures will be rolled out to the streets outside the North Gate Bus Station, off Silver Street.
They include converting Bradshaw Street into a one-way road that will divert traffic in from Silver Street and up Sheep Street.
Parking bays in Sheep Street will also be banned except for blue badge holders and loading or unloading vehicles.
Road signs and junction markings in Sheep Street will also be improved to ensure traffic does not block the street.
Councillor Jonathan Nunn said: “We’re really keen to push forward these changes and are making positive progress with this partnership approach. All of the suggestions we put forward earlier in the year are feasible and we’ve had some productive discussions about how we introduce them effectively.
“We have now agreed proposed changes which will shortly go out to consultation, so everyone will have a chance to see and comment on the plans."
A cabinet paper to install number plate recognition cameras in the Drapery will also go before Northamptonshire County Council later this year.
Cllr Ian Morris, county council cabinet member for transport, highways and environment, said: “We’ve been working closely with colleagues at Northampton Borough Council and we are making progress on measures to help alleviate traffic congestion in the town centre.
"Northampton, like other town centres nationally, is getting busier and busier and as the population grows and car ownership goes up we need to react to changes.”
Leader of the Labour group councillor Danielle Stone said: "It's clear to me they are doing this to alleviate the problems caused by the siting of the North Gate Bus Station, but I'm glad they have acknowledged there is a problem and have put forward some workable solutions.
"We will have to wait and see if it is an improvement."