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Lib Dems – Keeping up pressure for relief road

Author: Martin Johns - Lib Dem Published: 3rd July 2017 14:47
Measures will still be needed after a relief road is completed to keep HGVs out of TowcesterMeasures will still be needed after a relief road is completed to keep HGVs out of Towcester

Liberal Democrat councillors are upping the pressure on our local MP and central government to speed up the start and completion of Towcester’s relief road and ensure HGVs are kept out of the town centre.

Commenting, Lib Dem Councillor Chris Lofts said: “Members of the public attended a meeting with Minister for Roads earlier in the year, yet it seems still nothing has been agreed to bring forward the relief road’s completion date. Like a rerun of ‘Yes Minister’ his visit produced little more than a promise to have an urgent meeting with his officials. The irony wasn’t lost on Towcester people that the Minister arrived an hour late because of traffic problems on the M1.”

Councillor Chris Lofts added: “Liberal Democrats have been lobbying hard for the government to provide a loan to developers so that the relief road can be completed sooner than when the legal planning agreement requires the road to be finished. This agreement means the developer has to have the relief road completed before the 1017th house is occupied. If an earlier completion date can be achieved it will be welcomed by everyone.”

Lib Dem Councillor Martin Johns said: “Towcester urgently needs its relief road but it’s also essential that once built HGVs are prevented from travelling through the town. Deliveries to the town centre will of course have to continue but through traffic by HGVs must be stopped. Recent monitoring data shows that air pollution in Towcester’s town centre continues to exceed the legal limit, yet still no action is being taken to prevent this very serious public health issue.

The Minister admitted at the meeting in Towcester that the existing road through the town might only have a difficult to enforce weight restriction to prevent HGV’s continuing to come through the town centre. What is needed is a comprehensive town centre improvement plan that will encourage visitors and shoppers but keep HGVs out from the town. A relief road with four roundabouts isn’t going to be attractive to drivers of haulage vehicles, other measure will be needed to keep them out from the town centre.”

Liberal Democrats are continuing to work with the Town Council, South Northants Council, Northamptonshire County Council and local people to keep up the pressure on government to deliver a good scheme for Towcester and its villages.  

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At 18:29 on 3rd July 2017, oscar commented:
The proposed road was only ever a sop to the planners (but it worked!). Its sole purpose is for access to the housing developments it has not been designed as a main route. When (or if ever) the 1017th house is occupied the road from the last roundabout to the A43 might be started. Upon completion does anyone expect traffic to circumvent the town via four roundabouts then join the queues of traffic crawling towards the Abthorpe rounabout?
peter k
At 10:04 on 5th July 2017, peter k commented:
Sadly, the article above has all been said before, countless times. The so caledl "relief road" is a nonsense, always has bee,n once the details became known. And, passing the 106 money to the developer to build a road they would have had to build in anycase was frankly the last straw.

If only James Rudd's April Fool had not been a joke!!
Jeremy H
At 11:24 on 20th July 2017, Jeremy H commented:
Agree with all the above. Both sad and a sop. Great that Lib Dems keep pressure on MP & central government, but this entire project seems hell bent on supplying £400k homes, converting Towcester to a building site for 20 years and allowing the town centre to suffocate. A few land owners win big (again)and, according to Channel 4's Dispatches programme, the developers have the most profitable site in south northants! Try to watch on catch-up...interesting, but raises (even) more concerns.

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