Rebuild Brackmill's derelict train line into Northampton's-own park-and-ride 'tram' service, says transport group

A transport group says "one-after-another" of Northampton's traffic woes could be solved by using a derelict trainline to build a park-and-ride shuttle into town.

Friday, 29th November 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Friday, 29th November 2019, 7:40 am
A transport group wants a disused railway line to be put to work as Northampton's own shuttle link to Brackmills.

Many of Northampton's residents might not know about the disused Brackmills track. It runs out the bottom of Northampton railway station and pivots under Towcester Road before it runs all the way to Great Houghton and beyond. But it hasn't carried passengers in decades.

But now, a transport group says the line should be dusted off and put to work to create a park-and-ride to shuttle residents to Brackmills, the Waterside Campus and town centre like a tram.

Richard Pill of the English Regional Transport Association (ERTA) said: "We just want the council to commission a survey and see if it's viable. It could give residents so many more choices."

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The Brackmills line in 1960 - shown here with its former crossing in Far Cotton.

Richard and the ERTA have revived the idea in the face of a 525-house development that was greenlit near Brackmills last week.

The disused line used to operate as part of the Northampton-Bedford but was shut down in 1962.

Now, Richard says the existing route could be brought back to life and put to work as a shuttle service between town centre and Great Houghton - with stops to connect Brackmills, the Waterside Campus, Far Cotton, and the 500 new homes set to come.

Richard said: "With the creation of a park-and-ride parking lot, people could even park outside of town and shuttle into the town centre of the line and take the pressure off of the urban area.

The disused line could theoretically connect the town centre, Far Cotton, Waterside Campus and Brackmills on a public line - with room for a park and ride.

"There might not have been a business case for it before but that was before the 500 new homes were approved.

"With the heavy traffic that affects Northampton so often, it really could give people so many more options."

Richard is asking anyone interested in the possibility of reopening the railway line to attend a forum on February 22 at Northampton Quaker Meeting House, Wellington Street, on February 22 at 2pm.

Richard hopes a lightweight tram such as this Parry People Mover could be sued on the line.