Start date for removal of traffic lights at busy Kettering junction

The junction of Northampton Road, Sheep Street and Bowling Green Road, Kettering, with the new crossing marked in red NNL-160502-144751001
The junction of Northampton Road, Sheep Street and Bowling Green Road, Kettering, with the new crossing marked in red NNL-160502-144751001
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The removal of traffic lights from one of Kettering’s busiest junctions has been given an anticipated start date.

Work to alter the junctions at the top of Northampton Road into Sheep Street and Bowling Green Road is expected to begin on Monday, February 22, with a target completion date of June 3.

The current junction.

The current junction.

It is proposed to remove all traffic lights and confine pedestrians to one crossing, with no pedestrian islands in the middle of the road.

Northamptonshire Highways said: “Since the introduction of the restrictions within the town centre the traffic wishing to gain access via Sheep Street has reduced significantly.

“The public realm enhancements recently carried out have given rise to the need to improve accessibility to and from the station.

“There is still a heavy movement of traffic east-west through the Northampton Road/Bowling Green Road junction, and therefore there is a need to balance the needs of this cross-town movement with the requirement to cater for the important pedestrian movement to and from the town centre to the station and Headlands.”

Cllr Mick Scrimshaw (Labour, William Knibb) is worried that pedestrians will continue to cross the same way they always have.

He said: “I am very concerned that pedestrians coming out of Station Road will still cross at Northampton Road.

“As the plans mean the removal of the pedestrian refuges in the middle of the road and no traffic lights at that junction, I think this could be potentially very dangerous, especially as they may not be able to see cars coming round the corner from the direction of Bowling Green Road.

“Other people commented on the lack of consultation and the fact that most people do not know about these changes, even though work is about to start this month.

“Although technically it is a county council scheme and the lack of public engagement therefore doesn’t surprise me, I agree that Kettering Council should be doing more to inform and ask the public.”