TOP-SECRET documents have emerged detailing a possible underground train network in Northampton.
The map, leaked to the Chronicle & Echo this week, shows a proposed new ‘Tube’ system linking parts of the town. It has been drafted by Transport for Northampton and is understood to be linked to the planned development of the town’s railway station - which would be at the hub of the network.
The town has long been known for its complicated network of cellars and vaults and it is believed that these will form the basis for the bulk of the town centre routes, while new tunnels would be built in more outlying areas at a cost of several million pounds.
The network includes six different ‘lines’ - similar to London’s Tube system, and would see villages as far afield as Denton and Boughton on main lines into the town.
The underground system would be a huge boost to the local economy, attracting dozens of new businesses to Northampton and helping bolster the planned flagship Enterprise Zone earmarked for the banks of the River Nene.
Transport for Northampton spokesman Justin Jest said: “It’s disappointing these plans have been leaked as it is still very much a work in progress but they signify a very exciting development for Northampton. It will be a multi-million pound investment in our future and will revolutionise business and industry in our town.
“Business leaders will be able to hop on at Grange Park and head into town for their meetings before catching a train to the Enterprise Zone while little old ladies can jump aboard at Great Houghton and go directly to the town centre to do their shopping. It will be incredible.”
Trains will run throughout the day, with more journeys at peak times serving rush hour commuters.
The new-look train station will be the hub for the new system and will feed a number of lines to allow shoppers a direct route into town without having to walk in the rain. Holidaymakers can enjoy direct access to Billing Aquadrome, while out of town retail parks will also be served with their own dedicated stations.
A station will also be built at Abington Park, the University of Northampton and Sixfields.
But the news has not been welcomed by everyone.
Bus user Sheeza Payne said: “It’s crazy. I don’t know why they are bothering. We don’t need all these fancy new things when we have a perfectly good bus station. Greyfriars just needs a lick of paint.”
No timescale has yet been put on the plans, but it is believed a meeting of top-level executives involved in the proposal has been scheduled for today.