Road improvements around Northampton bus station 'should be explored'

The roads around the bus station can become congested
The roads around the bus station can become congested

Improvements to Northampton’s roads around the bus station should be explored to add ‘extra resilience’ to the road network, says the town centre manager.

The suggestion comes from Derrick Simpson as councillors prepare to scrutinise the road network around North Gate.

Opened in 2014, the station has seen a ‘lower level’ of incidents compared to Greyfriars with regards to health and safety and anti-social behaviour.

But it has faced criticism for the lengthy jams that can result at peak traffic times or following accidents.

In a report to be read out to Northampton Borough councillors on Monday evening, town centre manager Mr Simpson writes: “The ring road around the town centre has peak usage times and should a road accident block the ring road or reduce lane numbers it does not take too long before the knock-on effect creates traffic jams all along the ring road and into the town centre.

“The county council are aware of these issues and have been working with the borough with the aim to implement improvements to create some additional resilience across the highway network.

“The bus interchange, which incorporates North Gate and the Drapery, have around 100 bus services operating per hour during peak times. On an average days these services operate without any significant issues.

“However, should unexpected or unplanned incidents occur, which impacts on the ring road then we have encountered traffic issues in the town centre. The exception to this is around Christmas when traffic numbers increase significantly due to the increase in shoppers coming into the town.”

The bus station is owned by the borough council and managed through its Town Centre Operation team, but the highways are managed by the county council.

In a list of suggested future options, Mr Simpson also says he would like to see work progress on highway proposals in Bradshaw Street and for camera enforcement in the Drapery.