Busy Kettering junction to have all traffic lights removed

The traffic lights are to be removed from the Sheep Street junction with Bowling Green Road and Northampton Road
The traffic lights are to be removed from the Sheep Street junction with Bowling Green Road and Northampton Road

One of Kettering’s busiest road junctions is to have all its traffic lights removed.

Plans have been drawn up to alter the junctions at the top of Northampton Road into Sheep Street and Bowling Green Road.

The junction of Northampton Road, Sheep Street and Bowling Green Road, Kettering, with the new crossing marked in red

The junction of Northampton Road, Sheep Street and Bowling Green Road, Kettering, with the new crossing marked in red

It is proposed to remove all traffic lights and confine pedestrians to one crossing, with no pedestrian islands in the middle of the road.

Work is set to commence within a month and is scheduled to last until June, although it is anticipated work will finish before the target date.

Kettering Council economic regeneration manager Alex Jelley said: “The proposal to remove the traffic lights will see quite a significant impact concerning the flow of traffic.

“The idea is to concentrate pedestrians to one area where they can safely cross the road without impacting on the flow of traffic.

“It will also improve the aesthetic appearance of the junction.

“The plans are in consultation now, so to speak.”

Some councillors have voiced their concerns over the plans and the lack of public engagement surrounding the decision.

Cllr Mick Scrimshaw (Labour, William Knibb) is worried that pedestrians will continue to cross the same way they always have.

He said: “I am very concerned that pedestrians coming out of Station Road will still cross at Northampton Road.

“As the plans mean the removal of the pedestrian refuges in the middle of the road and no traffic lights at that junction, I think this could be potentially very dangerous, especially as they may not be able to see cars coming round the corner from the direction of Bowling Green Road.

“Other people commented on the lack of consultation and the fact that most people do not know about these changes, even though work is about to start this month.

“Although technically it is a county council scheme and the lack of public engagement therefore doesn’t surprise me, I agree that Kettering Council should be doing more to inform and ask the public.”

Cllr Maggie Don (Labour, St Michaels and Wicksteed) says the lack of public consultation so far is “appalling”.

She said: “Most people in the area do not know what’s going on, there are no signs up.

“I think it has been appalling.

“Having got to this stage the very least we could do is put the plans up in the library.”

Two more areas of Kettering will see vital roadworks next week.

Work is set to start in Montagu Street this Sunday (February 7) to renew a pedestrian crossing near Bath Road.

This will improve the signals and pavements leading up to them and refresh the road markings.

There will be temporary traffic signals and a temporary pedestrian crossing installed while work is taking place, with work scheduled to take place for a week.

Resurfacing work will also take place in London Road between St Mary’s Road and Bowling Green Road junctions from Monday to Friday between 9.30am and 3.30pm.

The usual traffic lights will be switched off with four-way temporary traffic lights in operation.