The Towcester Relief Road is urgently needed, and has needed to be built for many years now. This is an unequivocal position that I don’t think anyone in Towcester and the surrounding area, or indeed anyone who has travelled down Watling Street, would disagree with!
I have been absolutely clear that the early delivery of the Towcester Relief Road is one of my top priorities for the area, and I have been pushing hard to secure it since I was first elected as your Member of Parliament.
We’ve made some good progress - with the help of the Towcester Bypass Action Group (TBAG), South Northants District Council, Northamptonshire County Council - and I know that local residents want the road open if possible by 2020.
I brought the Minister for Transport to Towcester back in February so that he could see for himself why the relief road is needed and so he could hear directly from residents the strength of local feeling on this matter. I was very pleased when he told the audience of 150 local residents, as well as the developers of the Towcester Southern Extension and Highways England, that the early delivery of the road was a top priority for him and his department. The 2,100+ signatures on the petition, organised by Catherine Morris of TBAG, made clear that the local community was united in our efforts to see this through.
Highways England have said that they are completing the final stages of their “value for money” assessment, a necessary process to ensure that our taxpayer money is being put to good use on the project, and a decision is due on the road in the next couple of months. I am led to understand that, barring any major issue or concern, this should be a green light, and the legal and financial agreements between Highways and the developers can then proceed.
If I am re-elected as your MP on June 8th, one of the first things I will be doing is meeting again with Highways England to press them for a detailed timetable for their construction plans, with the clear steer from the Minister for Transport and myself that they should be aiming for the road to open in 2020. The pressure must be kept up, and I am committed to ensuring that Towcester gets its relief road as soon as is practically possible.
If you haven’t yet had a chance to watch the video of the public meeting in Towcester that the Minister for Transport attended, you can do so below.
If you have any questions or would like to know more, please do drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo credit: Andrea Leadsom, John Hayes & Catherine Morris: James Rudd Photography 2017