Appeal to keep bus link on Daventry estate open to cars

Chris Long at the entrance to the buslink road with Middlmore in the background
Chris Long at the entrance to the buslink road with Middlmore in the background

An appeal has gone out to gather views on whether a bus link road should remain in use by other vehicles.

The route in question is a narrow road of about 150 yards that links the back of Daventry’s Middlemore estate to the Heartlands industrial estate.

The road was built, and used as, a route for buses to use, and for construction traffic. As such it is narrow – two small cars might pass in safety, but anything bigger requires drivers to give way.

Because it is so narrow, the county council will not adopt it as a public road. Daventry District Council, which owns the road, is keen not to be left responsible for it and the associated future costs.

Tonight (Thursday) it will propose examining the costs and benefits of keeping it open, but Cllr Chris Long says residents’ views are needed.

He said: “I’ve spoken to people on Middlemore, I’ve been to the residents’ association meetings, and I’ve not heard a single person saying this road should be closed to cars.

“There is only one official road into Middlemore off the A361. It was built like the Timken estate who also had only one road in and out officially, but they used the bus route on Taper Way too. We managed to keep that open, but with a chicane there. Why is this any different?

“One of the concerns for people on Timken, and here on Middlemore, is that with only one road in, what happens in an emergency or if it is blocked – that happened the other week when the lorry tipped over on the Timken roundabout. Imagine the problems it would have caused if Taper Way had been closed off.

“This bus road on Middlemore is narrow, but importantly drivers can see along its entire length from either end.

“DDC owns the road and the land to the sides – the minimum you need is some road signs, maybe a give way to oncoming traffic sign and a passing place in the middle.

“The road even empties onto a wide industrial estate road, where most of the traffic at peak hours flows in the opposite direction to Middlemore traffic. Whereas if you go the ‘official’ route, you end up on the A361 and there are often queues at the roundabouts, so this would be safer too.”

Residents can send their views to or call Cllr Long on 07831 173707. Views will be compiled and passed on to DDC.

The route was originally built for buses to use, and as access for construction vehicles to the estate as it is being built. As such the road is narrow – narrower than the rules laid out by the county council for public roads so in its current state the county will not ‘adopt it’ as a public road. At the moment vehicles either give way to one another at either end, or pull onto the pavement to allow others to pass. It is not an official highway, and remains private land owned by Daventry District Council. This means although there are signs barring cars from using it, this cannot be enforced by the police.