Villagers step up campaign for Isham bypass

Campaigner Graham Rait with one of the signs.
Campaigner Graham Rait with one of the signs.

Villagers in Isham have put up 40 signs on the A509 as part of their campaign for a bypass.

For years residents have fought for a route around the village and despite a plan being in place, Northants County Council cannot currently fund it.

Some of the signs on the roundabout at the Wellingborough end of the village.

Some of the signs on the roundabout at the Wellingborough end of the village.

Now campaigners have posted their message all along the main road through the village, which often gets clogged up in rush hour, as they continue their fight.

Resident Graham Rait said: “We went knocking on doors and everyone I suggested it to said “yes, let’s put them up”.

“The reality is that this bypass has been a long time coming and we’re all getting fed up.

“Because people are so fed up they are taking rat runs through other villages like Orlingbury and they’re getting fed up of it as well.”

Wellingborough councillor Clive Hallam, who also sits on Isham Parish Council, says traffic will only get worse once surrounding developments are completed.

He said: “It’s a long process but it’s desperately needed.

“I came out of Kettering at 5pm the other day and queued from Tesco to the roundabout, and then from the roundabout to Hilltop [the Little Harrowden turn].

“When you’ve got Wellingborough North and Stanton Cross to come, anyone going north will have to come through here.”

A spokesman for Northamptonshire County Council 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, but unfortunately, funding has not been available to take forward the scheme.

“At present, £15m funding towards the current £38.5m cost of the scheme has been secured through the government’s Growth Deal.

“A bid for a further £10m of Growth Deal funding was submitted in July 2016 and a decision is expected soon.

“It is anticipated that the remainder of the money could be secured through the council’s innovative Revolving Infrastructure Fund, which uses the money developers are required to pay when they build housing schemes.”