Scheme to make Kettering street two-way could cost up to £2m

Eskdaill Street, Kettering.
Eskdaill Street, Kettering.

A project to remove the one-way system in Kettering’s Eskdaill Street will cost between £1.5m and £2m.

The scheme, which will get under way in August, is expected to take about three months to complete.

It is being funded through Section 106 agreements, where developers guarantee the provision of funding for facilities and infrastructure for the community as part of their housebuilding projects.

A Kettering Council spokesman said they believe it is the best use of the money available.

They said: “There will be separate funding available to make other improvements in the town centre.

“However, funding is ring-fenced and needs to be used in accordance with the Section 106 agreement.

“In addition, it is important that we work to deliver the various plans that have been developed for the area which together will complement one another.”

The money cannot be used for other council services.

The council said they chose to open up Eskdaill Street rather than nearby Newland Street as the latter had air pollution problems when it was previously two-way.

They were also concerned that opening up Newland Street to cars would have a detrimental knock-on effect on bus timetables.

Victoria Street is also unlikely to become two-way in the near future.

Public art will not be installed along the Eskdaill Street route as it was not desired and there is a fear of vandalism.

The council is also proposing to ban all vehicles apart from buses from Newland Street between the hours of 7am and 7pm, but may allow taxis to use it one-way between 7pm and 7am.

The council spokesman added: “We have listened to the feedback of taxi operators.

“We are proposing to continue to let taxis use Newland Street one-way, but are looking at restrictions to this access during the day, possibly between the hours of 7pm and 7am.

“We feel that prohibiting taxi use during the day will assist with the enforcement of other currently prohibited traffic use along Newland Street, helping make it a safer environment for pedestrians.

“Taxis will be able to drop customers off at the top of Gold Street during the day and will be able to use the new two-way system in operation along Eskdaill Street.

“A separate consultation on this will take place later this year.”