Results of consultation on traffic plans for Towcester are revealed
Almost 1,000 people flocked to a series of events revealing National Highways’ proposals to tackle traffic issues in Towcester town centre.
A public consultation was launched to discover people’s thoughts on the proposals which ran for four weeks. The results have today (Monday) been published with overwhelming support for the need to improve the A5 and address the issues caused by high levels of traffic travelling through the historic town centre.
There have been long standing concerns over the impact of the A5 through the centre of Towcester for some time but the construction of a new link road south of the town, between the A5 and A43, has created opportunities to alleviate this issue.
The improvements put forward by National Highways will encourage through traffic – particularly goods vehicles – to use the new link road and the A43 rather than the A5 through the centre of the Northamptonshire town.
Staff from National Highways and consultant Jacobs were on hand to explain the proposals and answer any questions regarding the planned improvements at several information events both face-to-face and one online which together attracted a total of some 950 people.
The consultation focused on two options, both of which included a 7.5t weight restriction and reduced speed limits of 20mph in the town centre and 30mph on the approaches. They also had measures to improve signage, walking and cycling facilities, crossings and to provide public spaces.
In the consultation, Option A was the most popular option supported by 44% of respondents selecting it as the proposal that would benefit Towcester the most while Option B was chosen by 22%.
Option A proposed the most significant changes to the town including:
- Narrowing the road at key junctions
- Removing most of the town centre parking, except for disabled parking, to create a public amenity area
- Introducing additional pedestrian crossings
- Building new footpaths and cycleways
- Making the road into a ‘shared space’ through the town centre
Option B would retain parking within the Town Square with a smaller public amenity area. The road layout would remain largely as is but with additional crossing points and the introduction of different surface materials to highlight crossings.
Only 15% of people supported Option C, a park and ride scheme which would be added to either of the other options, with many stating it was unnecessary for the size of town.
National Highways Project Manager, Mark Roxburgh, said:
“It was vitally important to us to get the views of local people, communities and road users to let us know how these schemes will impact them and to help us shape future designs.
“The consultation has captured a range of views and we are grateful to the many people who took time to come and see us and have shared their thoughts with us.
“We are using this information to inform the development of the project, alongside other considerations, to recommend a preferred option which will then be taken forward into more detailed development.”
Other findings from the consultation included:
- 70 per cent of respondents said the proposals would encourage them to shop in Towcester.
- Two thirds of people thought there was enough accessible and long stay parking in Towcester but half wanted more short stay parking.
- Although Option A was the most popular choice, there were some reservations including the proposal to narrow the road at junctions, removing the kerb in the town centre and the removal of some parking was also a concern.
- Around a third of those who responded felt that none of the options would make driving through Towcester and the town centre easier.
To see all of the results of the consultation visit: