Highways chief speaks out in defence of Moulton bypass scheme

The plan for the re-routed A43 submitted by Northamptonshire County Council is outlined in red.
The plan for the re-routed A43 submitted by Northamptonshire County Council is outlined in red.
  • Councillors gave the go-ahead to A43 bypass around Moulton
  • Critics have described the route agreed as ‘badly designed’
  • Cabinet member for highways says he accepts ‘it will not be popular with people living nearby’

Northamptonshire’s highways chief has defended the approved Moulton bypass plan after the scheme was knocked for being “badly designed”.

At a meeting on Tuesday, members of Northamptonshire County Council’s development control committee gave their support to the scheme for the A43 bypass to the east of Moulton.

The section of road will open up land for the urban extension of North Northampton where 2,000 homes are proposed. Approval was given subject to one of the access roads, Thorpeville, not being included in the scheme.

Barry Care, chairman of Moulton Parish Council, said the plans should have included a pedestrian bridge or underpass rather than a Toucan crossing for people wanting to walk from Overstone to Moulton.

But cabinet member for highways at Northamptonshire County Council, Councillor Michael Clarke, has said the bypass will greatly ease congestion in the Moulton area if the 2,000 homes are built.

He said: “It It’s a significant plan because it is the first stage ion the long overdue improvement of connectivity between Northampton, Kettering and the A14.”

A total of 178 properties are close to the route of the bypass and a petition containing 125 signatures were presented to the council ahead of the decision.

Many issues were identified such as the lack of crossing points and a widely held the belief it would turn a number of smaller roads in the vicinity into rat runs.

But Councillor Clarke said the bypass scheme was always going to have its detractors.

“I think it has really been a matter of opinion,” he said. “It’s not a popular thing with people living nearby, but we have to accept that.

“What we have been trying to do at highways is mitigate the impact. We wanted to meet as many of the objections as possible and I think that has been achieved.

“One of the conditions was that we deny access to Thorpeville to stop the rat runs and that came about through listening to the concerns.”

Councillor Clarke added that the full length of the A43 will not be fully duelled for at least another five years.