Traffic volume continues to rise in Isham

Traffic on the A509 in Isham NNL-171212-112126005
Traffic on the A509 in Isham NNL-171212-112126005

A yearly vehicle count by residents in Isham as part of their campaign for a bypass has seen traffic rise yet again.

Each year villagers take turns to keep a tally of all vehicles using the A509 through Isham over a 24-hour period.

This year’s count saw 26,776 vehicle movements - up by 1.2 per cent from 2016’s figure.

The busiest time for traffic this year was from 4pm to 5pm, where 2,194 vehicles travelled through Isham.

The time where the fewest vehicles used the A509 was 2am to 3am, with just 86.

Northamptonshire County Council has secured £25m of the £38.5m in funding needed, but bypass campaigner Graham Rait believes the current figure is more than previously announced.

He said: “It is very hard to find out the total costing of the scheme because the figure usually quoted is around £35m and that was the estimate in 2006.

“It is also very hard to find out the timescale for any presentations regarding funding.

“I believe that the compulsory purchase orders have now lapsed and another public inquiry could be called for so the start date never seems to come any closer.”

A spokesman for the county council said that a report about the scheme is due to be released in January and that they are looking at options to bridge the funding gap.

He said: “The Isham bypass is a priority scheme for the county council.

“Not only will it help benefit economic growth in the county but it will also bring much-needed relief to the village of Isham.

“The design of the scheme has been determined for some time.

“At present, £25m funding towards the current £38.5m cost of the scheme has been secured through the government’s Growth Deal.

“We are looking at a variety of options to bridge the funding gap and would consider all funding possibilities as and when opportunities arise.”

When villagers counted traffic in 2011, 22,938 vehicles were counted - almost 4,000 less than 2017’s tally.

Residents say their need for a bypass will increase if a huge logistics park nearby is given the go-ahead.

Isham Parish Council say the developers should contribute to the cost of the bypass.

In their consultation response to the plans, the council said: “Plainly this development has a direct and extensive impact upon the amount of traffic upon the A509 both in use by the projected workforce, visitors and lorries to the development not only during its use but also during its construction.

“Therefore it should make substantial contribution towards the cost of providing the Isham bypass.”