Work on Wilby Way roundabout welcomed by councillors

The Wilby Way roundabout
The Wilby Way roundabout

Major improvement works for the Wilby Way roundabout in Wellingborough have been welcomed by councillors.

The £3.2 million, six-month programme to widen part of the roundabout and approach roads, and install traffic signals, was announced by the Government last year.

The Wilby Way roundabout

The Wilby Way roundabout

The money comes from a national fund given to the Highways Agency to improve congestion across the country.

The improvement of the A45 roundabout was one of 20 schemes across the Midlands to benefit from the fund and the only one announced in the north of the county.

Wellingborough Council worked with the Highways Agency to bid for the money after it was announced that the government was making more than £200m available in its Pinch Point Programme (PPP) to remove bottlenecks and keep traffic moving across the country’s road network.

The PPP scheme is designed to target the worst pinch points where roads are particularly congested, as well as support areas that are important to economic growth.

In bidding for the money it was shown that people using the Wilby Way roundabout, especially during peak hours, often experienced bottlenecks, congestion and delays along the A45.

It was also explained that as major new housing developments were planned in the near future the traffic flow was likely to increase and the situation become worse.

Cllr Tim Allebone, chairman of the council’s development committee, said: “This roundabout can be incredibly frustrating for drivers and we’re really pleased that the government recognised the need for changes to be made.

“Improvements were made in 2007 when a left turn lane was opened on the westbound approach, but congestion is still bad eastbound and more needed to be done.

“There are a number of large housing developments planned, including the Stanton Cross development that could see 3,200 homes and 2,600 jobs created, and these developments will obviously affect traffic.

“Sorting out this roundabout, before traffic gets even heavier, is a priority.

“With the government funding and improvement works starting, the issues can now be addressed.”

Cllr Barry Graves, who represents the villages of Wilby and Great Doddington on the council, added: “Congestion on the A45 is so bad that people come off the dual carriageway to try and avoid the jams, which just creates an even worse problem in Wilby and Great Doddington.

“In the mornings and evenings the traffic in the villages can come to a complete standstill.

“I’m delighted that not only will the improvement works make the A45 flow more smoothly, it should also hopefully make a big difference to village traffic too.”

Mum-of-two Jessica Merson, 32, lives and works in Wellingborough.

She regularly uses the junction and welcomed the improvements, but said she hoped noise from the work would be kept to a minimum, especially at night as she had to contact her MP during the previous work there because the drilling kept her awake.

She said: “I don’t have a problem in the morning or at peak times if I’m leaving Wellingborough, as the filter lane from the last improvement works is so good, but it gets congested coming back from Northampton.

“If this work disrupts the filter lane, it will be a problem for me.”

Works will be carried out between Mondays and Saturdays, using narrow lanes between 6am and 8pm, together with overnight lane and road closures.

The work is scheduled to run for 21 weeks, subject to weather conditions.