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Lib Dems – Action needed on A5 Air Quality & Congestion

Author: Martin Johns - Lib Dem Published: 26th October 2017 14:13

Lib Dems – Action needed on A5 Air Quality & Congestion Lib Dems – Action needed on A5 Air Quality & Congestion

Liberal Democrat councillors continue to put pressure on our local MP and central government, to speed-up the completion of Towcester’s relief road, and ensure HGVs are kept out of the town centre, by de-trunking the A5 through the town.

Commenting, Liberal Democrat Councillor Martin Johns said: “The public came to a meeting with the then Minister for Roads back in February, but progress to bring forward the relief road’s completion date has at best, been painfully slow. Of much more serious concern is that Highways England continues to keep to their refusal to consider de-trunking the A5 through the town.

Feedback on discussions with government remain largely secretive, other than the fact that meetings have taken place. It was however, recently reported from SNC that: ‘The (new) Minister… felt he needed more time and more information before he could make any constructive contribution to the cause.’ This appears to be the same dither and lame excuses government gave local people back in February.”

Councillor Martin Johns adds: “We have a Conservative run highway authority (NCC) that’s effectively bankrupted itself through incompetence and a government that just doesn’t care. There’s been no consultation with the town council or Towcester’s district councillors. The Conservatives seem more interested in playing party political games and helping housing developers than in working to improve air quality and reduce road congestion. With Towcester planned to double in size, major developments at Silverstone, and massive rail freight depots proposed, it’s vital HGVs are keep out of Towcester town centre.”

Councillor Chris Lofts said: “Towcester urgently needs its relief road but it’s also essential that once built, HGVs are prevented from driving through the town. Deliveries to the town centre will have to continue but through traffic by HGVs must be stopped. Ongoing monitoring data shows that air pollution in Towcester’s town centre continues to far exceed the legal limit for nitrogen dioxide, yet no action is being taken to prevent this very serious public health issue.”

Highways England are keeping to their policy that there can be no weight restrictions, speed limit or traffic calming to prevent HGV’s continuing to come through the town centre after the relief road is built. Highways England say the relief road, with its four roundabouts, is simply for access to the new housing developments.”

Liberal Democrats will continue to work constructively with the Town Council, South Northants Council, Northamptonshire County Council, government and local people to keep up the pressure on government to de-trunk the A5 through Towcester.  

 

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Comments

peter k
At 15:31 on 27th October 2017, peter k commented:
Obviously all of Towcester will no doubt agree with the article above, but what to do about a solution is the matter that should be addressed. As stated the issue has been in play for months, if not years, but nothing intelligent has been put forward to solve the situation. The "bi-pass" is a nonsense and trying to force HGVs to circumvent Towcester town centre to use it would mean setting up costly chicanes north and south on the A5. What to do? Have other small towns suffered similarily? and what was their solution?

I do think the whole matter should be taken out of both SNC's. and NCC's hands and handed over to a competent town planning group (not a developer) who should be tasked with devising a solution. Afterwhich funding, as it will no doubt be costly, should be passed to central government to fund. Funding a full dual carriageway bi-pass should have been in their bailiwick all along.
DavidW
At 21:33 on 27th October 2017, DavidW commented:
I remember attending the meeting and listening to the (then) minister's out pouring of understanding for the residents of Towcester, and being a family man himself would be equally outspoken about this issue. Now he's moved on and another wannabe pops out of the sausage machine and says he needs time to gather the facts, just demonstrates why nothing is ever done about the bypass issue as it moves from one bureaucratical desk to another. Do we really need to chain ourselves together and block the road for anyone to sit up and listen to us?!!!
I seriously think it has come to this as I, and I'm sure many other Towcester residents are just stick and tired of these organisations ineptitude in dealing with this problem.

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