‘Red route’ favoured for A45 bypass plan

THE long-awaited bypass for Flore and Weedon will go before Northamptonshire County Council’s cabinet next week.

Proposed improvements to the A45 road between Daventry and Northampton, bypass ing Flore, Upper Heyford and Weedon, will be put to councillors, who will be asked to approve a route and also endorse using a new way of funding the scheme, which would see local authorities, developers and contractors working together.

A recent public consultation has already identified that the majority of respondents favoured Northern route, Option A (in red on the map above), which would cost an estimated £40 million to £45 million and form a 5.9km single carriageway road. Although the speed limit for the initial road will be lower, the route will be designed so vehicles could travel at 70mph meaning it will be suitable for converting into a dual carriageway in future.

Cllr Andre Gonzalez De Savage, county council cabinet member for infrastructure and public protection, said: “The A45 improvement link is a key priority for the council and has been for a number of years.

“However there has been a lack of funding available to bring such a project forward and that is why we’re using our new innovative way of funding to get the scheme off the ground.

“This is an exciting initiative which will greatly help economic development in the county by improving infrastructure and bring improvements at a local level by alleviating traffic pressures in a number of villages.”

More than 300 people attended three consultation events over the summer, with a total of 1,008 responses received. The feedback showed that 84 per cent of respondents said they preferred a northern bypass route, with 69 per cent preferring the option being considered by cabinet.

Improving the A45 between Daventry and the M1 was identifed by a planning inspector as a necessary part of expanding Daventry’s population, which DDC says is, in turn, key to attracting a wider range of shops and other facilities to the town.

Even if the plans are backed by the cabinet, building the road is likely to be a long way off, and local campaigners have been calling for a bypass for around 60 years.

Historically such projects would have been funded by capital money from central Government. With that looking unlikely for the near future, ways of funding the project could include investment from private developers or third parties as well as from the Government’s Growing Places Fund which was established especially for such initiatives.