Town users bemoan “horrendous” Kettering roadworks at busy junction

Roadworks at the top of Northampton Road, Kettering, March 2016.
Roadworks at the top of Northampton Road, Kettering, March 2016.

Kettering town users have voiced their frustrations over a set of roadworks which are set to continue until June.

Work to remove traffic lights at the junctions at the top of Northampton Road into Sheep Street and Bowling Green Road got under way on February 29.

Roadworks at the top of Northampton Road, Kettering, March 2016.

Roadworks at the top of Northampton Road, Kettering, March 2016.

The new road layout will confine pedestrians to one crossing, with no islands in the middle of the road, with the aim of improving the flow of traffic.

But those affected by the roadworks have hit out at the impact it is having on their businesses and travel through the town.

HSS Hire branch manager Jade French, who runs the store on the corner of Sheep Street, says the roadworks will inevitably cost them money.

She said: “It wasn’t too bad at the start but as it’s gone on it’s become a nightmare, it’s an absolute pain.

Roadworks at the top of Northampton Road, Kettering, March 2016.

Roadworks at the top of Northampton Road, Kettering, March 2016.

“Within 20 minutes of them putting down the last traffic cone there was an accident.

“When they come round the corner fully and raise the kerb we’ll lose our access and have no space for parking or deliveries.

“We rely on a lot of people walking past for our trade so we’re probably going to have to do free of charge deliveries, which will cost us.

“We were only told about it a couple of weeks before work was set to take place and didn’t really have time to put forward our views.”

Taxi driver Binesh Chettri says he has been forced into using other routes.

He said: “Sometimes it is not too bad but when it’s bad it’s horrendous.

“I got stuck in it for 15 minutes the other day and often have to go another way, especially during rush hour.

“I think it will be better when it’s done but at the minute it’s horrible to drive through.”

Sophie Dybal often drives into town to visit the shops with her mother.

But last week she went shopping in Corby after hearing about the roadworks, which often queue from Northampton Road on to the double roundabout.

She said: “I drive into town with my mum sometimes and have been stuck in Bowling Green Road for quite a while at times.

“I’ve heard it’s ridiculously busy at certain times so last week we went to Corby instead.

“I’m sure traffic will be better once the work is done but I don’t think the work has been very well thought out.”

Work is set to finish on site by June ahead of this year’s Women’s Tour cycling race.

Kettering Council economic regeneration manager Alex Jelley said: “The proposal to remove the traffic lights will see quite a significant impact concerning the flow of traffic.

“The idea is to concentrate pedestrians to one area where they can safely cross the road without impacting on the flow of traffic.

“It will also improve the aesthetic appearance of the junction.”