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Northamptonshire Expansion                                                                      


The New Road and Rapid Transit Route

In the new 2009 proposals one of the major features is a new road from the A45 Nene Valley Way at Billing to the M1 at a new junction positioned a lttle further south of the current Junction 15.

Page 26 of the Emergent Joint Core Strategy, states for the Northampton South East Extension

'What the development delivers

  • A mixed use sustainable urban extension (SUE) providing 6,250 dwellings up to 2026 and with an overall capacity of 18,000 dwellings and 11,000 jobs.
  • A Rapid Transit Route for public transport connecting direct to Castle Station and the town centre.
  • Essential strategic improvements to the highway network with a new road link from the A45 to the M1; relocation of Junction 15 of the M1; and release of capacity on the existing A45 to increase public transport priority, reducing congestion and delay.'


Proposed new A45 M1 Link Road

There are a few comments and maps circulating around in emails or on the web which indicate a general location for the proposed new SE ring-road.  If you have other information or drawings / maps of the proposed location, especially any which include any greater detail, please let us know.   Here are examples of what we have at present.  Click on the images to see an enlarged version.










It is unclear if plans for this road are more advanced than this proposal suggests, or whether it is a bolt out of the blue.

The above statement from the Emergent document states that J15 on the M1 will be relocated south of the current location.  This implies that the current J15 will be closed.  Therefore, south bound traffic onto the M1 would need to find another route.  There does not appear to be any suitable gap in development south of the Nene Valley Way to allow access to the new junction.  Do they expect traffic to travel east to Billing and then turn right onto the proposed road in order to get to the M1? 

If there are plans to divert large volumes of vehicles from the the A45 to M1, east as described above, and from the west, then the proposed new road would need to be at least the same size as the current Nene Valley Way.  Therefore it would need to be at least a four lane dual carrageway.  It is difficult to see how such a road could be driven through the Billing Aquadrome area, along Crow Lane without massive changes to current businesses and homes.  For a slightly better view, click on the image below.


Alternative routes

A few years ago there were rumours of a road continuing south from the junction between Lumbertubs Way and the Nene Valley Way, through Riverside and on to the A428 Bedford Road.  At that time Riverside was not fully developed and a way through was possible.  Now that traffic flows have significantly increased, such a major route through here would seem unlikely.

If you look through past transport plans, for this immediate area and those referencing broader schemes, these do reference possible link roads between the A45 and the M1.  There are usually no details, but generally they refer to links further west.  Some mention Thrapston, but others appear to be much closer.

A much more logical alternative route would be to improve the A509 from Wellingborough to the M1 at Junction 14, just north of Milton Keynes.  On the Map below, the A509 is the road from top to bottom in the centre.  Click on the map to see a larger image.


                                       Alternative A45 to M1 link by improving A509


The majority of settlements have already been bypassed.  ie. Wollaston, Bozeat, Emberton and Newport Pagnell.

  • There are proposals to bypass Olney, which is plagued with heavy traffic through it's centre.
  • There are plans to improve the section of road from Newpart Pagnell to J14 to dual carrageway.

Surveys appear to indicate that much of the traffic along the A45 Nene Valley Way originates from Wellingborough, Kettering, Corby, Peterborough and beyond, on route to Junction 15 to go south on the M1. Of course the reversre is also true, with M1 North bound vehicles exiting at junction 15, bypassing Northampton along the A45 north eastwards.  

Therefore, improvements to the A509 Wellingborough to Milton Keynes would considerably ease traffic on the A45 south east of Northampton.



Road Congestion

The following map illustrates congestion in and around Northampton. The coloured lines indicate the average speed of vehicles during the peak morning period in recent studies.  This includes sections of the A45 Nene Valley Way where peak traffic congestion is one of the factors that is used to support the proposed new A45 M1 link road.  

Click on the image to see a larger view.


                                     Congestion Map


More details will be added when they are available.


The Rapid Transit Route

From what can be seen on the image on page 24, and reproduced again here, it appears that the proposed Rapid Transit Route will follow the route of an old disused railway. 




This disused railway was only single track and was converted into a quiet walkway and cycle route. It now only really exists between Great Houghton for a short distance to the edge of Brackmills where it has been blocked off and surrounded by industrial units.  Click on the image to see a larger view of the map. It is difficult to see how a Rapid Transit Route could easily be continued on through Brackmills.  Parts of it are in a narrow cutting, and other parts are crossed by new roads. 

A transport system such as this may be a good solution within the town, but much of it would not be pleasent to travel through as it crosses industrial estates and derelict land . . . unless this was all regenerated.  



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Date last updated:  08 Sep 2009                                                                                          Valid until:  31 Dec 2009