Update on Towcester Relief Road

With all the progress being made on the delivery of the Towcester Relief Road after so many years of residents having little hope of resolving the appalling traffic and air pollution in the town, I wanted to take the opportunity to again put on record, in the face of so much misinformation, the facts about the relief road, its design, and the hard work I have been doing on your behalf.

I have today recorded this short update.

To be clear:

  • Towcester has long suffered from congestion and air pollution problems, and the town has needed a relief road for decades.
  • The developers currently have no set date to build the road; it is based on the sale and occupation of a threshold of housing.
  • With the District and County Councils, I am working hard for the road to be open by the end of 2020 - years earlier than it would be otherwise.
  • The existing A5 through Towcester (Watling Street) is not of A-road standards.
  • Contrary to reports from the Town Council, Northants Highways has confirmed that the relief road is designed to the standard expected for a main A-road, and to handle all current and anticipated HGV traffic; no redesign is necessary.
  • Highways England's predecessor agreed to a 20mph limit and a 7.5T weight restriction for non-local traffic through the town following the delivery of the relief road.
  • With the two Councils, I am looking at infrastructure funding to accelerate the delivery.
  • I am clear this does not mean the developer gets out of its financial obligations.
  • Relief roads, bypasses and other such terms are all effectively the same thing - Northants Highways is clear on this.

I continue to work with local residents, the Towcester Bypass Action Group and all others to secure this relief road for Towcester by the end of 2020.

If you would like more information, please do look through the Relief Road section here on my website where you can find past updates and copies of correspondence, including my recent letter to the Town Council. You can also email me if you have a specific query via andrea.leadsom.mp@parliament.uk.