Timetable of the road widening

Planners show Kettering residents how work to improve the A14 will affect the local area at a viewing in the town's Corn Market Exchange.
Planners show Kettering residents how work to improve the A14 will affect the local area at a viewing in the town's Corn Market Exchange.

Members of the public have been given the chance to inspect plans which would see the A14 around Kettering widened.

The Highways Agency hosted a two-day exhibition to show off its proposals to construct an extra lane in each direction on the road between Junction 7, for the A43 to Corby, and Junction 9, for the A509 to Wellingborough.

It is hoped the new three-lane carriageways would be open by spring 2015 at a cost of around £110 million.

Members of Northamptonshire County Council and Kettering Borough Council have joined local businesses in welcoming the plans.

But residents who attended the exhibition gave a mixed reaction to the proposals.

David Cosford, who lives on Hallwood Road, said the widening was important but said the A14 was not the only road on which congestion needed to be tackled.

He said: “This is a step in the right direction, but the town needs a complete loop road around it.

“It’s easier to walk than to drive through Kettering.”

The Highways Agency has carried out an environmental assessment, and will build fences two-and-a-half metres high to help reflect noise away from nearby estates.

But one resident of Ostlers Way, Kettering, who asked not to be identified, said she was worried the fence would not have much of an impact.

She said: “By putting another lane in, it’s going to create far more noise pollution. We know what the noise is like already – in the summer you have to shut all the windows. The noise pollution is going to be far greater.”

Cllr Christopher Lamb, portfolio holder for planning and growth at Kettering Borough Council, said he was pleased with the proposals.

He added: “The plans to widen the A14 between Junctions 7 and 9 are really important to the borough.

“We are thrilled they are proceeding on programme”.

The A14 forms part of the British section of a European road network which stretches from north Wales to Suffolk.

A further exhibition will be held once a contract has been awarded, in order for the public to inspect the final design, the timetable of works and what traffic management measures will be in place.