"Absolute joke": Northampton residents voice frustrations over "horrendous" traffic chaos in busy part of town

"There is a live 24-hour bus lane people can't use anymore which has caused horrendous traffic since it went live"

Wednesday, 3rd March 2021, 7:50 am
Updated Wednesday, 3rd March 2021, 9:30 am

Gas works being carried out on the Weedon Road are causing a huge build-up of traffic in both directions between Sainsbury's in Sixfields and Franklin's Gardens, which is about a mile in distance.

The works, carried out by Cadent, are being compounded by the 24-hour bus lane, which went live last month (February) after getting the go-ahead by Northamptonshire County Council.

The county council's aim behind the bus lane is to promote a greener way of travelling by encouraging bus journeys and cycling, which in turn hopes to reduce car travel.

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The temporary traffic lights at the roundabout near Wickes in Sixfields

However, St James ward councillor Rufia Ashraf said the new bus lane is not very helpful and has caused "horrendous" traffic since going live.

She said: "There will be traffic in the area. Not only are there roadworks but the new 24-hour bus lane is now in force, so if people start driving in it they will get fined - not very helpful.

"No one has thought about it [the works] and they should've planned to do the roadworks when there is less traffic. There is a live 24-hour bus lane people can't use anymore which has caused horrendous traffic since it went live.

"We don't get a lot of buses going that way and there has never been a problem before [the new bus lane]. The works could have waited until the evening time when there's less traffic.

Traffic in St James heading out of town has also been affected by temporary traffic lights

"I don't think the consultation [for the new bus lane] was very good because a lot of people said they were not happy about it and feel their thoughts were not taken into account."

Local resident Amarjit Singh Atwal also vented his frustration. He said: "Took 20 minutes to get into Lidl. I tried to access from McDonald's, then went round Gambrel Road, got to the Audi garage and couldn’t run right. Then went along Duston Road, Bants Lane and back round again. It’s going to be chaos at rush hour."

Becky Collins said on The Chron's Facebook page: "I can’t imagine why there’s a queue like that! Oh yes I remember, the new 24-hour fine enforceable bus lane. Everyone knew this was going to be the knock on effect when people started getting tickets for overtaking to keep the flow of traffic going."

Abdul Mukit also wrote on Facebook: "Do you see what happens when you add major roadworks as well. We can't wait to see it when the schools re-open on March 8. Absolute joke."

St Crispin's resident Lei Wilson questioned whether residents were warned about the works. She said : "I don't think there was any warning of this happening.

"I took my cat to Vets4Pets yesterday morning for 8.30am and didn't see any workers. I went back to collect her at 11am and the traffic was already backing up towards Sainsbury's from Wickes. Again no warning signs of the temporary traffic lights at all. I turned around in the road and went towards St James industrial estate to get there instead."

@andywilson4264 said on Twitter: "Caught me out this morning around 7:30am. Definitely one to avoid if possible."

A Cadent spokesperson said: “Cadent are currently carrying out essential maintenance work. We know this may cause disruption, but we hope people understand this is essential work to keep the gas flowing safely and reliably to the area.

“We have planned this work closely with Northamptonshire County Council and the temporary traffic arrangements are necessary to ensure the safety of our teams on site and the safety of motorists as they navigate around our work area”

Northamptonshire County Council has been contacted for comment.

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