Funding agreed for safety scheme on speedy Towcester road

A new vehicle activated speed sign will be introduced on the road
A new vehicle activated speed sign will be introduced on the road

Councillors have agreed to fund a new electric flashing ‘slow down’ sign on a Towcester road that has a ‘serious’ speeding problem.

Members of South Northamptonshire Council’s planning committee agreed to finance the £2,600 scheme on Northampton Road using funds from an 82-home development that was built at Belle Baulk.

The money is available to use as plans to build a number of bus shelters on Watling Street using the funds from the developers, known as section 106 money, have fallen through.

A £40,000 sum had been set aside in July 2015 to build the four bus shelters in the town, but since then only one has been built, adjacent to the Richmond Court sheltered accommodation.

Councillors were told that trial holes dug out by Highways England had revealed that all major utilities ran beneath the proposed locations for the shelters, and these would need to be diverted to accommodate the deep foundations for the agreed style of shelter.

Speaking at the meeting on Thursday (April 11), Councillor Martin Johns said: “Despite our best efforts locally to get bus shelters in the town, and spending many hours in the rain, it’s just proved impossible.”

Since then, alternative ways in which to spend the remaining £36,208 have been explored, and attention has been turned to slowing down vehicles on Northampton Road.

Statistics gathered by Towcester Neighbourhood Watch, who maintain a mobile vehicle activated speed sign on behalf of Towcester Town Council, show there is a ‘serious problem’ with vehicles exiting the A43 onto Northampton Road at excessive speed and motorists are not being impeded by the traffic calming measures already in place.

Installing a permanent flashing sign, warning motorists if they are going too fast, will cost £2,600 and councillors on South Northamptonshire Council’s planning committee - which looks after the pot of money - agreed to reallocate the funds towards the scheme. Northants Highways will still need to grant permission for the installation.

The council papers added: “Whilst it was unfortunate that the installation of bus shelters was not possible, the alternative project currently identified is considered to be an acceptable alternative and in due course other projects will be reported to planning committee to ensure that the funding is spent to meet or mitigate any need or impact arising from the development.”