Northamptonshire village should get HS2 roads money, says leader of community fighting 35 years for bypass
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Mick Morris, chairman of the Farthinghoe Parish Council, said South Northamptonshire had suffered more than anywhere else in the county from HS2 destruction and his village should benefit from some of the money saved by abandoning HS2 North.
He expressed frustration that other parts of Northamptonshire are being promised funds.
He told villagers: “Following the cancellation of the Birmingham - Manchester leg of HS2 it was mentioned that £36 billion would be made available for other transportation improvements in various parts of the country – the East Midlands inclusive of Northamptonshire would be included .
“Almost immediately after that announcement was made this article appeared on the Northampton Chronicle website where mention is made of which parts of Northamptonshire would benefit.”
The article says HS2 money released would include the A43 dualling project between Northampton and Kettering and the A509 Isham bypass.
Mr Morris said: “Let us remind ourselves which area of Northamptonshire has borne the brunt of destruction by HS2 construction. No, not the brunt of it, actually all of it. Where people have lost their homes, their land and their businesses.
“Our already inadequate roads have become more crowded and the surfaces destroyed. Is any part of South Northants listed to benefit? Is mention made of a bypass for Farthinghoe for which we have waited more than 35 years?”
In a speech at the Conservative Party conference Prime Minister Rishi Sunak confirmed the Birmingham to Manchester leg of the high-speed train line would be ditched, with £36bn instead being spent elsewhere.
The Government subsequently announced that in the East Midlands it meant £250m would be spent to ‘fully fund’ ten road schemes – including the A43 dualling project and the A509 Isham bypass.
In 2020 the then-Northamptonshire County Council (now split into two unitary authorities) agreed to approve £1.4m to take the Farthinghoe bypass to a full business case.
South Northants MP Andrea Leadsom said at the time: “For as long as 50 years, the community has been demanding a bypass because of the tricky road layout in the village.”
Our sister paper the Banbury Guardian has asked Mrs Leadsom for a comment on the HS2 funding situation but has not received a reply.