Drapery redesign worth £55,000 will end Northampton town centre traffic jams, says council leader

Councillor Nunn said: "We are never going to have a period where people are sat in a bus on the Drapery for an hour before they start moving."
Councillor Nunn said: "We are never going to have a period where people are sat in a bus on the Drapery for an hour before they start moving."

Northampton Borough Council has pledged to redesign traffic flow in the Drapery and "pick up the tab" from the county council.

Number plate recognition cameras and a scheme to control how buses use the town centre street could be installed within a year.

Leader of the borough council Jonathan Nunn announced a "master plan" for Northampton was in progress.

Leader of the borough council Jonathan Nunn announced a "master plan" for Northampton was in progress.

Highways and roads are typically handled by the county council - but at a conference on Wednesday (September 19) leader of Northampton Borough Council, Councillor Jonathan Nunn, announced they would foot the £55,000 bill for the cash-strapped local authority.

Councillor Nunn said: "We are never going to have a period where people are sat in a bus on the Drapery for an hour before they start moving.

"We all know of the financial struggles facing the county council. Well, we aren't the county council. We have a balanced budget and the Christmas lights will be on this year.

"The borough council is going to pick up the tab for improving the traffic in the Drapery."

The Northampton Town Centre - Our Next Steps conference was held to discuss the future of the high street.

The Northampton Town Centre - Our Next Steps conference was held to discuss the future of the high street.

The announcement came at the "Northampton Town Centre - Our Next Steps" conference by Northampton BID to discuss the future of the high street.

Councillor Nunn also announced the council and BID were drawing up a "masterplan" to redesign pedestrian and traffic flow in the town, which could also include refreshing the "gateways" into the town centre through Bridge Street, Gold Street and Wellingborough.

The leader also took the opportunity at different points in his speech to apologise for the botched £10.25million Cobblers loan, the sale of the Sekhemka Statue, the former Enterprise contract, the return of weekend parking charges and the state of the Greyfriars plot.

He said: "Greyfriars is a big hole in the ground in the middle of the town... but we want something more iconic and bold. We are looking for fresh ideas."

It comes after the borough council voted in favour of overhauling the local government system in Northamptonshire and replacing it with two new unitary authorities - in effect voting to end its own existence.

Councillor Nunn told the conference: "We're not winding down into unitary. We're sprinting to unitary. We have ambitious plans and are in a great place to make this happen."