Ex-bus driver calls for former road to be re-opened to stop Northampton town centre grinding to a halt

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An ex-bus driver has advocated re-opening a former town centre road to relieve any future congestion around Northampton bus station.

Saturday saw the third major bout of traffic problems caused by traffic calming measures near the North Gate terminus. One set of traffic lights was reportedly not showing green for long enough to let many buses through with resultant jams stretching as far as St James.

Former driver Norman Sharp, of Abington, who wrote to Northampton Borough Council before the station was completed warning of how delicately-balanced the system was, has suggested opening up King Street.

Several years ago, the road linked Bradshaw Street - now running alongside the bus station - to Horse Market, but part of it is now the edge of thecar park of the Park Inn Hotel site.

It’s understood that the borough and county hall bosses discussed the idea during the crisis meetings held in March when the first week day of North Gate resulted in a townwide traffic jam, but they have not seen fit to use it since that day was assumed to be a one-off.

Mr Sharp said: “I know its a drastic measure as the land is used by the hotel and a park, but it’s getting desperate now.

“The situation is so delicately balanced that you need an escape plan. They don’t seem to have one but this could be a sensible option.”

Mr Sharp’s other suggestions include making some services terminate just outside the inner ring road - Lower Mounts near the Radio Northampton building for example - so that fewer buses need to enter and leave the station, thereby reducing chances of large-scale traffic jams.