Funding for controversial Northampton relief road set for approval

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More than £3m is set to be put towards a new road in Northampton by the county council.

The Northampton North West Relief Road will link the A428 Harlestone Road with the A5199 Welford Road, via a junction in Grange Farm.

The cabinet look set to agree to utilise just over £3m of capital funding towards the project when it meets on Tuesday (October 9).

Criticism has been levelled at the scheme from some members of the public though, with 1,200 residents responding to an earlier consultation.

Designed to ease congestion, campaigners instead claim the roads will save only 40 seconds off any journey, but are part of a larger scheme to open up the north of Northampton for housing development.

And a residents' association estimates that the Relief Road, while good for the Dallington and Buckton Fields areas, would increase traffic in Kingsthorpe, Boughton and Whitehills by up to 87 per cent.

Cabinet papers say the road will provide ‘additional capacity’ and will also ‘enable development at Buckton Fields, Dallington Grange and Northampton West’.

The meeting at One Angel Square is expected to see the cabinet agree to a preferred route for the Relief Road, and to back the scheme with a £3.1m sum that will ensure the preparation of a planning application, an environmental statement and a business case.

The section of the Relief Road from the A428 to Grange Farm will be constructed by the developers of Dallington Grange as a single carriageway.

The county council though will be responsible for building the section of road across the railway line to reach the A5199 Welford Road.

Northampton Borough Council has pledged an additional £2.5m of capital investment to the project, while SEMLEP is also providing funding.

The scheme is separate to the Northampton Northern Orbital route, although the two roads would be joined together.

The Orbital Route would have formed a northern ring road for Northampton from the end of the North West Relief Road at the A5199 through to the A43 Kettering Road.

But insufficient funding for further development of the Orbital Route means the project has been shelved for the time being, though the cabinet is set to agree it remains a ‘high priority’.