Residents claim Northampton will be ‘overwhelmed’ with traffic when homes are built

Guildhall steps, protest by anti Buckton Fields campaigners.
Guildhall steps, protest by anti Buckton Fields campaigners.

One of the main roads into Northampton will be overwhelmed with traffic when new houses are built by the side of it, residents have claimed.

For 10 days in November last year, residents of Whitehills and Spring Park carried out a survey to see how bad traffic along the A508 was.

They revealed the findings as plans to build hundreds of houses at Buckton Fields, next to the A508 near Boughton are about to progress from the drawing board into reality.

The survey found that between 7.30am and 8.30am an average of 871 cars an hour queue to get around the Boughton Roundabout, with most doing just 3mph.

University lecturer Patrick Cross helped carry out the survey. He said: “We believe the A508 is already at capacity. If any more traffic is put down there, all that will happen is the queues will get longer and longer, people will get more frustrated and the chance of people being involved in accidents will increase.”

The survey also found that between 5pm and 6pm, an average of 577 cars queue to get through the Boughton Roundabout.

Mr Cross said: “I actually walked along the queue to the roundabout on the first morning we did the count and I walked for a mile quicker than the queuing cars moved. It was amazing.”

The residents say they have accepted the new homes at Buckton Fields will be built, so instead of trying to block the development, they are instead pushing for the creation of a north-west bypass.

Northamptonshire County Council’s cabinet member for highways, Councillor Michael Clarke (Con, Hackleton & Grange Park) said housing developments could open up funding for a bypass in the future, but argued the immediate solution was for companies in Northampton to change their working hours.

He said: “Short of a fundamental change in people’s commuting habits, there’s not a great deal we can do immediately.

“I think real change will only happen if companies stagger their working hours to overcome the rush hour, because that’s when the A508 is at its worst, between 7.30am and 9.30am.”