I share the disappointment felt by the Parish Council and the Farthinghoe community that no funding bid was forthcoming in support of the Farthinghoe Bypass.
Before I became Business Secretary, I asked a series of Written Parliamentary Questions of the Department for Transport about the Farthinghoe Bypass, and you can see these below for more detail. It had seemed like we were so close to securing the funding needed for the village’s bypass, and we had the agreements in place from all the major parties, including the major road and freight haulage associations, to move forward with a bid through the Major Road Network. I am meeting with NCC, SEMLEP and EEHSA on the 12th September to discuss what happened, and our next steps, and had the opportunity today to raise this with Cllr Matt Golby, Leader of Northants County Council, as part of a wider update meeting on key South Northamptonshire issues.
I intend to press as strongly as I can for NCC to submit a bid for funding for the bypass through the DfT’s Pinch Point Fund; I understand from officials in the Department for Transport that – although the A422 sits on the Major Road Network – if a strong enough case is made, it could be considered suitable. I intend to meet with the Secretary of State for Transport as soon as possible to discuss this in more detail, and to explore any and all alternative funding solutions for this vital road infrastructure project.
The delivery of the bypass has been, and continues to be, an absolute top priority for me, and please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions, comments or concerns.