Kettering residents: have your say on routes for pedestrians, pushchairs, wheelchairs, scooters and bikes

The consultation ends in December and comments can be added to an interactive map

Saturday, 13th November 2021, 7:00 am

Kettering residents are being asked for their views on how North Northamptonshire Council (NNC) could improve travel around the town and wider area.

The council has said it is specifically looking at improving walking and cycling routes to make it 'safer, easier and more appealing' for more people to walk, use wheelchairs and pushchairs, cycle or scoot - especially for short trips.

Improvements are aimed at tackling and reducing congestion, addressing the climate emergency and creating other benefits, such as reducing air pollution.

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The interactive map

Information from the public will be used by NNC to create a Local Cycle Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP), which can then be used by the authority to submit bids to Government for funding to create the infrastructure.

Cllr Graham Lawman, the council’s executive member for highways, travel and assets, said: “Research shows that the majority of car journeys are under two miles, so if we can enable people to swap their mode of travel over these short trips we will be making a big difference.

“We want to make it easier for people to walk, cycle, scoot and use wheelchairs and pushchairs and that’s why we’re asking them for their views on what problems they’re encountering and what they’d like to see.”

The authority is working with WSP and Brightwayz social enterprise to develop the project and have created an online ‘heatmap’ of the Kettering area where people can leave comments at specific locations.

St Mary's Road Kettering

Comments by residents have already been placed on the interactive map pointing out parked cars, poor road surface, a lack of level paths, roads being blocked off and narrow cycle ways.

One resident commenting on Broadway and Hawthorn Road, close to London Road, said: "There are no real cycle lanes on this important route into the town. Cars parking on the grass verges result in poor visibility and congestion. Parking restrictions should be in place. Crossings are poor for wheelchair users - crossing Hawthorn and Broadway along London Rd should have tactile paving. Paths need levelling and resurfacing- again difficult for wheelchair users as tree routes have made the path uneven."

Commenting on the coned off section of St Mary's Road one resident called the segregated section 'nonsense'.

Another said: "The lane at present is just full of debris and rough and hazardous."

A third added: "The bollards installed to create a protected cycleway are too narrow and in particular the exit is dangerous, into fast traffic. There is a quiet residential street (service road) on the left, cyclists who are not confident in road traffic would be safer to use that."

The junction with St Mary's Road and London Road has also been highlighted.

One resident said: "The existing cycle path disappears and cyclists are expected to cycle around one of the busiest junctions in Kettering with the road traffic. With the current lane set up on St Mary's (Road) causing confusion for motorists it means cyclists are required to be in the middle of traffic to turn right. The current cycle path needs resurfacing urgently. Cycle lanes should be bright in colour so it is clear where they are."

The long-term closure of Furnace Lane has also been pointed out by residents eager to find a safe route to Telford Way Industrial Estate.

One contributor said: "Furnace Lane was a through route for many years between Rockingham Road and Telford Way until it was blocked off a few years ago. To access the area via walking or cycling, you have to travel significantly further, via Northfield Avenue and Rothwell Road. This route is far busier with traffic and access via Furnace Lane would improve the journey for many people."

This consultation will last until December and will include additional surveys about specific routes which will all help shape the LCWIP.

Although this particular project is Kettering-focused, similar initiatives are being developed in other towns across the North Northants area.

Cllr Jason Smithers, leader of the council, added: “Protecting the environment and moving towards net zero is a key priority for the council, so I’d encourage everyone to have their say so they can help shape the future of travel in the Kettering area.”

To take part in the consultation and add comment please click here