End of the road for ambitious Corby Walk
Plans to create a walkway between Corby’s rail station and the town’s shopping centre are set to be scrapped as Corby Council now says the original scheme is unrealistic.
It’s now very unlikely that the already created start and end of the routes of the much heralded scheme will ever be joined up as originally planned back in the mid 2000s.
Corby Walk was part of a grand plan for the town centre to make improved transport links between the station and the town’s shopping hub.
The original route one would have connected the two points via means of a straight route through the town centre, through Stuart Road and along the green space near to Tresham College.
The stylish blue, grey and white paving was installed at the station when it was built in 2009 and is also in place on George Street near to the Cube building.
A report to go to Corby Council’s One Corby meeting tomorrow spells out the Labour-run council’s current thinking. It says: “The original plans for Corby Walk, a direct cycleway and path from the Station to the Town Centre are now not seen as realistic, for example the scheme requires a pedestrian bridge across the railway line will be cost prohibitive given the funding available.”
The report does indicate that other improvements to town centre roads such as Cottingham Road, Station Road and Elizabeth Street may allow more viable routes for a Corby Walk in the future, but there are no further details.
Greatline Developments, which developed the Tesco superstore site at St Marks Road had contributed £265,000 towards Corby Walk as part of 106 planning obligations alongside £535,000 towards footpath and cycle improvements
However it would have cost much more to develop the Corby Walk scheme and there are no further monies set aside. Corby Council had to give back £79,000 of 106 monies connected to the Corby Walk to Tresham College in July 2016. The College had given £100,000 to the council as part of planning conditions for its then new campus. The authority spent £21,000 on the project and a feasibility study but had to hand the rest back as it ran out of time.
At tomorrow’s meeting councillors are being asked to agree to transfer the £800,000 106 money over to Northamptonshire Highway’s department to administer.
Agreed improvements still to be carried out include: A new footpath/cycleway from St Lukes Road to the railway underpass; creating an unsegregated footpath/cycleway between the Railway Bridge and Burghley Drive; another new footpath/cycleway from the Tesco site to Oakley Way connecting with Oakley Road to the extension to St Lukes Road and signage replacements and upgrades.
Corby Council has also been in discussions with Northamptonshire Highways to consider the possibility of installing a toucan crossing for cyclists across the Tesco’s supermarket junction to the other side of Oakley Road.
The work would be carried out by KierWSP under its existing contract with Northamptonshire Highways.
The council says it will continue to scrutinise the improvements despite handing over the cash and responsibility to highways. The report says: “It will be specified that this funding must be classified as restricted funding and therefore can only be used for the cycleway and path projects specified. Any necessary legal agreements between the parties will be put in place that will include ongoing scrutiny by Corby Borough Council.”
The £800,000 must be spent by May 2022 or it will be returned to the developer.
Plans to let the council’s Grosvenor House offices will also be discussed with the press and public excluded.