The Farthinghoe Bypass, along with the Towcester Relief Road, is one of my top two road infrastructure priorities in South Northamptonshire, and I know just how important the delivery of the Farthinghoe bypass is for the village and for other road users of the A422.
The local community has been pushing for decades for the bypass to be built, and the Parish Council has been spearheading action to raise awareness and secure funding. I have been working with the council in recent years to explore how we might get the road built as soon as possible, including meeting with Ministers at the Department for Transport, officers and councillors at the County Council, and representatives from our local enterprise partnership (SEMLEP) and others. There is a definite willingness to deliver on this important priority from all parties involved, and I was pleased recently to receive the support from three major freight and road haulage associations for the campaign. We have identified a possible source of funding through the Department for Transport’s newly announced Major Roads Network, and I have provided formal responses to the consultations on the MRN to highlight the need for the Farthinghoe Bypass. It was therefore good news when the A422 was declared eligible for bypass funding, subject to other considerations.
Recently, I was presented by the Parish Council with a petition of nearly 3,500 signatures calling for the bypass to be built as soon as possible, and I applaud the excellent work of everyone involved in achieving this. I had the opportunity last week to formally present this petition to the Secretary of State for Transport, the Rt Hon. Chris Grayling MP, and to explain to him in more detail the reasons behind it.
The next step is to convene a meeting with the County Council, SEMLEP, and new sub-national transport body England’s Economic Heartland Strategic Alliance to discuss how we might put together a bid for funding through the MRN to build the road.
I will continue to do everything I can to move this forward, and will update with more news in due course. As ever, please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of any assistance on this or any other issue.