For some time people have been talking about changing Gladstone Street and Nichols Street to create a one-way system to improve safety and to reduce the dangerous movements of vehicles due to insufficient road space. A formal consultation was carried out by the then County Council in January 2018 but the objections and support were such that the idea was dropped and changes never took place. However, complaints from residents continued and the Town Council decided to set aside money to fund the changes if they were supported by residents. The Town Council cannot change the road network: that is North Northamptonshire Council’s function (as Highway Authority).
The idea is to bring traffic from Harborough Road along Nichols Street into Gladstone Street; and from Station Road (big Co-op roundabout) to Harborough Road along Gladstone Street. The plan includes changes to parking along these routes. Both Nichols Street and Gladstone Street would be one-way only: New Street would remain unchanged. One change from before is the proposal to protect the exit from Gladstone Street onto Harborough Road (B576) with double yellow lines.
An informal consultation carried out by the Town Council received general support for the proposals and the matter was passed back to the then County Council to conduct its own formal, legally-required, consultation.
With any changes on the road network it is inevitable that some residents or businesses may not approve of proposals whilst others support them. For this reason the law requires the Highway Authority to allow a 21 day formal notice period where the public can object or comment.
That formal consultation closed on 10 December 2021 and was carried out by Northamptonshire Highways. The Town Council was informed that the formal consultation resulted in a small number of specific objections and that the Highway Authority engineers were working on solutions which would mitigate the complaints.
Subject to changes required by the Road Safety Audit and following statutory consultation, the next phases are as follows (dates are approximate):-
- Week ending 08/04/2022 – Stage 1-2 Road Safety Audit to be carried out on slightly revised design
- Week ending 15/04/2022 – Traffic Regulation Order application submitted for statutory consultation and processing following receipt of Road Safety Audit (4 weeks required plus time to deal with any further objections arising)
- Week ending 31/05/2022 – Final target cost received (£85,052.18)
- Week ending 08/07/2022 – Target on site construction date commencement (approximately 2 weeks)
The Council will be asked to approve the scheme as a whole and the expenditure (in accordance with the Highways Act 1980 s274A, the Local Government and Rating Act 1997 s30, and the Local Government Act 1972 s101).
The revised plan is here.