Thanks for the Northampton bypass pledge say campaigners...now commit to the rest of the road
Whitehall's Â£8million funding deal for a north-west bypass in Northampton will only dump traffic out at on an already congested road, fear campaigners.
Yesterday transport secretary Sajid Javid announced a Â£7.93 million funding package to complete a relief road between the A428 Harlestone Road with the A5199 Welford Road.
But the Whitehills and Spring Parks Residents' Association (WASPRA) says the congested north of the town, particularly Kingsthorpe, will only get the relief it needs when a full orbital route has connected Harlestone Road right over to the A43 in the north east of Northampton.
WASPRA member Bob Smart has only partially welcomed the Government funding as he believes it is a short-sited approach to ease the traffic woes.
"It's muted good news," he said.
"This is only a third of the road needed - and it's something we have tried to explain to politicians longer than we dare to explain."
Mr Smart said the Harlestone Road to Welford Road bypass will dump heavy goods vehicles by the Windhover pub on the A5199. Cars will then still use the A508 Harborough Road into and out of Northampton. Major developments at Buckton Fields and Dallington Grange will add thousands more cars onto the clogged routes, he believes.
"Kingthorpe will not benefit greatly from the road at all," he said. "The real solution is the orbital route."
Mr Smart said the Government should have considered funding the entire orbital road in one go- though estimates are the entire scheme would cost upwards of Â£150 million. Just the first Harlestone Road to Welford Road section will cost Â£32 million, most of which will be funded by contributions from developers.
"We are glad the funding is there for the first part," Mr Smart said.
"But we will keep fighting until the orbital route is built."
However, Northamptonshire County Council leader, Councillor Heather Smith (Con, Oundle) welcomed yesterday's news.
“This money is essential in helping fund this major project," she said.
“In order for the county to continue to grow, the right infrastructure has to be in place but of course we need the help of Government to get the large amounts of money which are necessary to build such schemes."
Northampton North MP Michael Ellis believes the Government will commit to funding the rest of the route in coming years.
He said: "The Government has shown by its actions that they are supporting this road - by extension, you would assume they are committed to seeing this completed.
"The roads in Kingsthorpe were never designed to deal with the volume of traffic they had to cope with."