Isham bypass to get share of £2.6bn road building budget

The money was announced in today's budget

By Alison Bagley
Wednesday, 27th October 2021, 5:23 pm
Updated Wednesday, 27th October 2021, 5:24 pm

The long-awaited Isham bypass may finally get under way after Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced £2.6bn to fund more than 50 local road upgrades.

In today's Autumn Budget and Spending Review, the A509 Isham Bypass was listed as one of the projects for further development in the East Midlands.

Wellingborough MP Peter Bone announcing the £45m funding for the bypass on Twitter, thanking Cllr Jason Smithers, leader of North Northants Council.

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In a supplementary document specific projects in the East Midlands were announced as part of the government’s wider support for 'levelling up' across the UK.

It stated: "Including £2.6 billion for local road upgrades over this Parliament including the North Hykeham Relief Road in Lincolnshire and the A614 Corridor scheme in Nottinghamshire as well as announcing that the A509 Isham Bypass scheme in Northamptonshire is progressing to the next stage of development."

Villagers have campaigned for a bypass linking Kettering and Wellingborough for decades to tackle the amount of traffic travelling through the village, which sees more than 25,000 vehicle movements a day.

Mr Bone, speaking to this paper, said: "It's official. The leader of North Northants Council Cllr Jason Smithers has been working very hard behind the scenes.

The route of the Isham bypass, highlighted in black. The blue/green area to the left is the A14 Junction 9 roundabout, with Isham being the red area just above the route.

"It unlocks housing and also connects Kettering to Wellingborough. It will actually reduce CO2 emissions because at rush hour you can spend 20 minutes sitting in traffic.

"It's been a long time coming - this is the third time and now we've got here. A lot credit goes to the officers at NNC.

"We are ready to go - it's all part of the levelling up. This campaign has been going on since 2003.

"It's terrific and it's listening to what people want. I'm delighted and delighted for the people of Isham."

Campaigner Graham Rait

The scheme has previously received planning permission and once had £25m in funding, only to lose it because the remaining £15m for the scheme couldn't be found, and there was frustration last year when it was announced that a business case would have to be completely revised.

That case was submitted again to the Department for Transport in December.Bypass campaigner Graham Rait, who lives just off the A509 in Isham, said: "It's not funding for the bypass itself, it's funding to put the bypass on to the next stage - it's an improvement.

"All the planning permissions and compulsory purchase orders have lapsed and if people complain we will have to have a public inquiry so it back to the drawing board.

"I used to say that I would be out of here in a wooden box before it got built. I've been trying for 35 years so you can understand my scepticism."

The current planning permission for the bypass runs out next year - 2022

The north end of the bypass plan needs to be realigned to link it to a new roundabout being constructed on the A509 as part of a huge warehouse park near Junction 9 of the A14, which will see a 1km stretch of the road made a dual carriageway.

When built the bypass will commence at the Junction 9 roundabout of the A14 and run in a southerly direction, west of the village of Isham, and rejoin the A509 Kettering Road midway between Hill Top and Great Harrowden.

There will be two roundabout junctions. One will be at a junction with the existing A509 Kettering Road, south of the A14 Pytchley roundabout, with the second at a junction with the B574 Hill Top Road.