Special report: Proposed Northampton bypass will create 15-minute delays at new roundabout

Drivers taking a proposed two-mile new bypass into Northampton will hit a 15-minute rush hour jam at a soon-to-be-constructed roundabout.

Monday, 1st July 2019, 3:00 pm
The Whitehills and Spring Park Residents' Association says the North West Relief Road will create traffic havoc in the north of the town.

That is according to the traffic assessment finally submitted as part of the county council’s controversial North West Relief Road (NWRR) scheme.

The as-yet-uncosted plan is for a single carriageway between the A428 Harlestone Road and the A5199 Welford Road.

The bypass would effectively act as an access point to the 3,000-home Dallington Grange development between New Duston and Kingsthorpe.

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The junction of Brampton Road is already busy at peak times.

But protestors say the planning application now submitted simply confirms their long-held fears – that the relief road will deposit heavy traffic loads and lorries onto the Welford Road and Brampton Lane.

A new roundabout would be built on the road by the Windhover pub in Chapel Brampton to act as the access to the new bypass.

But the council’s own traffic impact assessment says that- by 2021 – rush-hour traffic can expect to wait here for some 15 minutes.

By 2031, that will rise to 20 minutes.

Pictures submitted by WASPRA.

Sean Brady, of the Whitehills and Spring Park Residents’ Association (WASPRA), says the so-called relief road will be a complete ‘disaster’ for those living in the area around Kingsthorpe.

He said: “Pollution effects on local residents and the environment will be substantial, and on the basis of this report, the area will be completely gridlocked for many years to come.

“The NWRR is poorly planned, dangerous... and simply not fit for purpose.”

WASPRA’s own analysis predicts that traffic heading east on Brampton Lane will surge by 87 per cent in 2021 – even though the Brampton Lane and Welford Road junction is already congested at peak times.

Mr Brady said the county council needed to go back to the drawing board to seek funding for the full ‘Orbital Road’ scheme, which would join the A428 to the A43 - or simply scrap the scheme altogether.

“It is shamelessly being crowbarred in to provide access to future developments such as the 3,000 houses proposed in Dallington Grange,” Mr Brady said.

“This plan must be scrapped, and the council must return to the drawing board.”

Northamptonshire County Council says the North-West Relief Road will improve access to the M1 and three industrial estates - Moulton Park, Lodge Farm and Round Spinney.

But the authority has conceded that traffic will ‘increase’ in other areas.

Cabinet member for highways Councillor Jason Smithers, said: “Traffic modelling has been used to assess the impact of the developments and the new road. Findings indicate that building the NWRR is likely to present wide transport benefits by reducing traffic in some areas.

“Overall, the proposed scheme will provide an overall benefit to the wider highway network.

“However, there are impacts caused by the changes in routes which will increase traffic in other areas. Potential mitigation options have been explored at a high level with the aim of addressing the impacts of the scheme. Additional traffic surveys and more detailed analysis of the impact of the NWRR at the junctions and locations identified will now be undertaken as part of the detailed design of the scheme. This will enable these mitigation schemes to be delivered.”