A vision of how Corby’s new Government-funded pedestrian and cycle lane could look has been revealed in public for the first time.
The route aims to provide a safe and attractive path between the railway station to the junction of Corporation Street and Elizabeth Street in the town centre.
The cycleway plans are being developed alongside blueprints for the £300k Smart and Connected Corby scheme which will see air quality and footfall monitors placed around the town to provide real-time, detailed data to members of the public for the first time.
Councillors were given an update on both projects at the Executive Advisory Panel for Climate Change, Environment and Growth last week.
They heard that by 2030, Corby is set to become a ‘model’ for town centre regeneration across the midlands, bringing the 1950s town layout into the 21st century.
Under the proposed plans, new pedestrian crossings will be placed at each junction of the Anne Street / Elizabeth Street roundabout. The two-step crossing by the former police station in Elizabeth Street will also become a single, raised crossing which will be safer for pedestrians.
A new toucan crossing will be put in place in Oakley Road, close to the Elizabeth Street roundabout, meaning the Burghley Drive underpass will be filled in.
An on-street parking bay near East Avenue will be lost.
The cycle way and pedestrian route will then briefly diverge under the rail bridge, with bikes going on to the road and walkers using the existing cylindrical underpass which will have improved lighting.
The steps from Oakley Road to the station car park will remain, although there is not believed to be enough money in the pot for provide a ramp for wheelchair and pram users. They will have a 100m detour around Station Road to the station.
Explaining the scheme to members of the committee, Mike Newton said his team had been given a very tight deadline to come up with the proposals.
He said: “We’ve had a couple of interesting challenges.
"There’s not much we can do with the Oakley Road pedestrian underpass other than improve the existing lighting but, as far as underpasses go, it’s not too bad.”
The steps to the station car park were put in in 2013 because a ramp was cost-prohibitive, which is still the case.
Cllr Anne Lee said: “I find it disturbing that you’re suggesting not doing the ramp.
"100m is a very big detour. Is this in line with our public sector equality duties?”
The Smart and Connected Corby project will see 25 monitors installed around the town centre to measure air quality and traffic. The data will be publicly accessible and will allow NNC to monitor hotspots and target schemes to tackle any issues.
A second phase of the scheme that will need further funding could see a second route opened up around Cottingham Road and the north end of Elizabeth Street.