Renewed hope for Isham bypass after Government funding announcement

Heavy traffic on the A509 road through the small village of Isham in Northamptonshire. The village is still waiting on a bypass ENGNNL00120110405170414
Heavy traffic on the A509 road through the small village of Isham in Northamptonshire. The village is still waiting on a bypass ENGNNL00120110405170414

Much-needed funding for the planned Isham bypass could be available after a Government pledge to put £1bn a year into improving rural roads.

The Major Road Network plan will let councils apply for funding for smaller, local A roads out of vehicle excise duty contributions.

Villagers in Isham have been campaigning for a bypass around the current A509 route for years.

Plans for a £38.5m scheme have been drawn up but at present only £25m has been secured – however, new funding may be available after the Government’s announcement.

A spokesman for Northamptonshire County Council said: “The Isham bypass is a priority scheme for the county council and we are committed to making it happen.

“Not only will it help benefit economic growth in the county but it will also bring much-needed relief to the village of Isham.

“The design of the scheme has been determined for some time.

“At present, £25m funding towards the current £38.5m cost of the scheme has been secured through the government’s Growth Deal.

“We are looking at a variety of options to bridge the funding gap and would consider all funding possibilities as and when opportunities arise.”

Bypass campaigner and Isham parish councillor Graham Rait said he was cautiously optimistic.

He said: “The £38.5m figure was the 2008 cost so it’s significantly higher than that now.

“We got £10m but we only get that if we can prove we can get the rest and I’m not sure where that’s going to come from.

“But I must be optimistic if there’s funding available.”

The scheme was awarded funding in May.

Each year villagers count traffic over a 24-hour period as part of their long-standing campaign for a bypass.

Last year’s count saw 26,464 vehicle movements on the A509 through the village - up from 25,386 on the same date in 2015.