Traffic jam on A45 near Rushden Lakes causing gridlock for shoppers with 'zero movement'

Police have warned motorists to avoid the area if possible

By Alison Bagley
Saturday, 31st July 2021, 3:41 pm
Updated Saturday, 31st July 2021, 3:44 pm

Motorists using the A45 close to Rushden Lakes have been warned to avoid the area as traffic has backed up in car parks causing a huge traffic jam - a result of road closures.

Drivers had been advised to allow extra time for their journeys if travelling through the A45/A6 Chowns Mill junction area near Higham Ferrers as work continues on an upgrade.

The road closure from 8pm Friday, July 30, to 5am on Monday, August 2 involves the north half closure of the junction.

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File picture of Rushden Lakes

But shoppers have been stuck in gridlock - some for more than an hour unable to leave the site.

Northants Police said in a tweeted warning: "Please be aware due to the planned road closures on the A45, near to Rushden Lakes, there is extremely heavy traffic congestion in the area.

"Please bear this in mind when travelling and plan to avoid it if possible."

Highways England's live traffic reports say: "There are currently delays of 30 minutes against expected traffic."

File picture

Customers at Rushden Lakes have been expressing their frustration with families stuck in their cars in the shopping park's car park for over an hour.

One mum said: "Young children are stuck in cars - in a car park, with traffic not moving - for over an hour."

Another said: "Seriously. This place either needs a back way out or just to turn people away as there is zero movement and people can't get out of their parking spaces here."

The tailbacks have been caused by the partial closure of the busy A45 route at nearby Chowns Mill between Irthlingborough and Higham Ferrers.

The junction is being redesigned to tackle significant congestion with a new layout that will include a ‘half hamburger’ roundabout with a new link road connecting the A6 South and A5028 with the existing roundabout. Before it can open, new traffic signals and lighting have to be installed and resurfacing carried out.

Announcing planned closures, the Highways England project manager, Dean Holloway, last week had said: “We appreciate that any road closures can be frustrating for people and only do so when absolutely necessary. Once this work is complete, the road will be quieter and safer and it will enable us to reach a major milestone in the scheme – opening up the half hamburger layout.

“There is likely to be some congestion during the closures and we would advise people to allow extra time for journeys and avoid the junction if possible. We would also encourage people to stick to the signed diversion routes.”

To ensure the safety of road workers and road users while the work is carried out, there are some weekday night-time and three weekend half closures of the roundabout.

The weekend closures will take place on the following dates and times:

Chowns Mill

From 8pm Friday, July 30, to 5am on Monday, August 2 - North half closure

From 8pm Friday, August 20 to 5am on Monday, August 23 - North half closure

From 8pm on Friday, September 3 to 5am on Monday, September 6 - South half closure