Plans in the pipeline to make notorious Northampton junction safe after years of public pressure

"I took my life into my own hands when I tried to cross it.”

Tuesday, 5th July 2022, 5:20 pm

Plans are in the pipeline to make a notorious Northampton junction safe after years of complaints.

West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) said it will be holding a public consultation later this year regarding a safety scheme for the Rushmere Road and Billing Road junction.

A WNC spokeswoman said: “The council is very close to identifying a scheme which it believes will ensure pedestrian priority and encourage more people to walk and cycle in this area, in particular, a scheme focused on being able to walk to school and doing so very safely.

Rushmere Road and Billing Road junction

"The council and its contractors have looked at a series of options based on analysis of both pedestrian and vehicles using this junction and it is planning a public consultation on a scheme later on in the year.”

Independent councillor Julie Davenport, of the Delapre and Rushmere ward, first submitted a motion to make the junction safe at a council meeting in July last year.

Reacting to the latest update, councillor Davenport said: "Everyone is very happy it's going ahead although some would like it to be a quicker process.

"Overall they are very pleased that the council is going ahead with this scheme, which has been needed for years to ensure the safety of residents and the students of schools in the area."

Councillor Davenport said at the council meeting last year that it was a 'desperate' situation.

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She said: "This motion is a desperate move to solve a desperate situation.

"Now the Rushmere and Billing Road junction has been a major issue for years.

"I took my life into my own hands when I tried to cross it with a car suddenly appearing from the right as I crossed.

"How do you think parents feel sending their children to school. They are told 'don't drive them to school - let them walk.'

"If you have to get into work by 9am you can't walk with them but it's too dangerous for them to go on their own.

"Now the residents say that it will take a death at that junction to get anything done."

In response to councillor Davenport, WNC's Phil Larratt, who is in charge of highways, said, “you do take your life in your hands”.