Green Party calls on councillors to consider cyclists and pedestrians in Northampton relief road plans
Northampton Borough Council has passed a motion in support for new relief roads to the north of the town in a bid to relieve congestion along the Kingsthorpe corridor.
But the Northamptonshire Green Party has expressed concerns about the roads being prioritised for motorists, fearing cyclist and pedestrian needs will take a back seat.
The Northampton North-West Relief Road will link the A428 Harlestone Road with the A5199 Welford Road and serve the housing growth that is proposed to the west and north of Northampton.
Plans for construction work to finish on the North West Relief Road is set to grind to a halt in 2021, cabinet report papers say, with the Orbital Road set to be completed two years later.
Steve Miller, for the Northamptonshire Green Party, said “Successive administrations in Northampton have focussed on the experience of the motorist, often to the detriment of other road users.
"It’s critical that any new road building around the town takes time to consider the requirements of those other road users and takes steps to ensure that cycling and walking alongside Northampton’s main roads is prioritised as part of any new developments.”
Following the meeting on Monday, the party has also urged councillors to think about planting trees for the entire length of the new roads, to help absorb vehicle emissions and provide more of a barrier between cars and other road users.
The party says, there should also be frequent laybys on any new road to ensure that orbital bus routes are practical as well as including separate provisions for cycle lanes and for pedestrian footpaths.
Northamptonshire Highways believes the Northampton North-West Relief Road will reduce congestion in the north-west of Northampton, particularly relieving congestion in and around Kingsthorpe shopping centre, by providing a new crossing of the river valley.
The new road may also improve access to the M1 and from the industry at Moulton Park, Round Spinney and Lodge Farm Industrial Estates.
The section from the A428 to just south of the railway line will be constructed by the developers of Dallington Grange, and indeed the first part of this section has already been constructed as part of the Harlestone Manor development.
Northamptonshire Highways will be building the section of road across the railway line to reach the A5199.