Persimmon is making good progress on the technical design work for the Towcester Relief Road, and I am pleased to see that work is continuing apace.
It is anticipated that full technical approval for the connecting roundabout on the A5 will be obtained by Persimmon during early December this year, with full technical approval for the roundabout on the A43 following by March 2020; this has involved a lot of work with Highways England as both roundabouts sit on their Strategic Road Network. The submission for the technical approval for the relief road itself is due to be made by mid-December this year.
It is our shared ambition that works will commence on the road before March 2020, pending discussions with the County Council’s Speed Review Panel.
I am arranging the next in the series of my regular meetings with Persimmon, the County Council and the District Council for October, where I look forward to receiving a fuller update on progress to date, including final confirmation of the funding mechanism between Persimmon and Highways England. Persimmon has already agreed to close the existing gap – around £4.6m – themselves, and is working with Highways England to secure this.
Finally, before I became Business Secretary, I raised concerns – via an Oral Parliamentary Question – with the then-Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government about how we can ensure that the road does indeed get built. I was pleased that he agreed to meet with me to discuss this in more detail, and I will be looking to meet with his successor as soon as diaries permit.
As ever, please do not hesitate to contact me should you have any queries, but I am pleased to see that progress is being made, and I will update the community again in due course.