Parking bays to be suspended in two busy Wellingborough streets to help pedestrians keep social distance

Work will begin tomorrow

By Sam Wildman
Tuesday, 4th August 2020, 9:00 am
Cambridge Street in Wellingborough.
Cambridge Street in Wellingborough.

People visiting Wellingborough's town centre won't be able to park in two busy streets from tomorrow as part of a scheme to help pedestrians keep their social distance.

Northamptonshire County Council has announced they will widen the footways in Cambridge Street and Silver Street by dipping into their Active Travel Emergency Fund £351,000 pot, which aims to encourage people to cycle and walk rather than use public transport.

Work will begin tomorrow (Wednesday) and on-street parking bays will be suspended in the two streets so that people can walk where vehicles are normally parked.

Ramps will also be provided to help people cross the kerbs, and barriers will be installed to protect them from the moving traffic.

The works will be reviewed on a regular basis to ensure their effectiveness and changes will be made if considered necessary.

Cllr Jason Smithers, county council cabinet member for highways and place, said: “When it comes to putting an effective travel scheme in place, there are many factors that we’re having to consider – such as the width of roads, the impact on cyclists and pedestrians, and whether the schemes will cause any issues for local businesses and other stakeholders.

“With this in mind, I’m delighted that we have been able to progress these quick win proposals so promptly and effectively, as they will make a big difference to people who are making their journeys on foot or by bike.”

In the latest round of schemes the council will also be making the bus lanes in Northampton's Weedon Road and St James Road, which currently only operate in the morning peak, extended to operate for 24 hours a day.

The first scheme in Kettering's Montagu Street in June got off to a calamitous start when traders weren't told about it until workers turned up to completely alter the road.

The council is currently "actively considering" other options including temporary traffic measures or restrictions to prioritise cyclists and pedestrians at a number of sites in Northampton and Kettering.

Work is also continuing in identifying medium-term to long-term cycling and walking projects, with input from the public, to secure further Government funding via the Emergency Active Travel Fund for those schemes.