Hundreds of motorists in Northamptonshire forced to use ‘dangerous’ junction due to council HQ building work

The junction of Nothampton Road and the A43
The junction of Nothampton Road and the A43

People living in an estate in Towcester have expressed their concerns about using a “dangerous” junction on the A43 to get in and out of the town as the result of a road closure next month.

As part of the Moat Lane Regeneration Project, which involves new offices being built for South Northamptonshire Council, Northampton Road will be closed for three to six days between Monday, February 16 and Saturday, February 21.

The work will widen Northampton Road and modify its junction with the A5 by introducing a new right-hand turn lane. Contractors are also planning to a replace a blocked drain on the road.

Commenting on the council’s Facebook page, a number of residents living in The Shires estate, which is only connected to Towcester by Northampton Road, said they were worried about having to use the A43 exit.

The roadworks mean that drivers heading towards Northampton will have to cross the busy dual carriageway to go north.

Ben Laidler said: “If all residents of The Shires are forced to enter and exit solely through the junction on the A43 it will only be a matter of time before there is an accident, fatal or otherwise.

“This junction has proved extremely dangerous in the past due to the nature of the traffic on the A43 approaching at speed over a somewhat blind crest.

“Combine this with a much larger traffic volume than usual due to the proposed road closure and we will undoubtedly see an accident within days in my opinion.”

David Tarbun, a Towcester Town councillor and resident of The Shires, said: “The Shires estate will be completely isolated from Towcester if these road closures go ahead.

“That A43 junction is dangerous and I would not feel happy at all with my wife or myself driving my young daughter over that junction.

“I am all for the improvements to the crossroads, and I am sure they will aid us in the future, but the proposed closure seems excessive and dangerous for residents of The Shires.”

A spokesman for South Northants Council said every effort was being made to ensure the works were carried out as “quickly and safely as possible”

The spokesman said: “The road closure is essential for safety reasons. The works are being carried out by Morgan Sindall with Northamptonshire County Council co-ordinating in its role as county highways’ authority, ensuring compliance with national guidance. “This is a standard procedure and dictated within the Safety at Street Works and Road Works Code of Practice. The safety considerations take into account both the travelling public and the site operatives.

“Careful consideration was given to a night-time operation, but the equipment required for this type of resurfacing work would create noise levels far greater than those living or working in close proximity could realistically be expected to endure.”

Pedestrian access along Northampton Road will be maintained during the road closure, which conincides with the February half-term.