A turning-point in transport planning was reached in the mid-1990s in considering plans for development of the south-west District of the town, when it became obvious that the capacity of the proposed grade-separated Kislingbury Valley Way dual carriageway could not be matched by the surrounding road network. The solution was road infrastructure constructed to match the capacity of the surrounding network – single carriageway distributor roads that opened up the network but did not provide strategic level relief. The mid-2000s saw a significant expansion of growth plans in the county as part of the Milton Keynes & South Midlands Growth Area. It was obvious that the level of growth predicted could not be accommodated if car use continued to increase. A Transport Strategy for Growth was drawn up encompassing challenging levels of modal shift, predicated on significant investment in alternative modes – walking, cycling and public transport. The County Council, in seeking to guide the overall development of the county’s infrastructure and economy, drew up the Northamptonshire Arc – a spatial investment strategy which emphasises the key role of Northampton as the county town and largest settlement alongside the county’s smaller and medium sized towns. This thinking from both the Transport Strategy for Growth and Northamptonshire Arc was embodied in the current Local Transport Plan, which encompasses a suite of documents including strategies for the various modes of travel, as well as over-arching Town Transport Strategies for the main towns, including – of course - Northampton. Unfortunately, by the time this strategy-writing was complete, the economic situation had changed following the 2008 crash. There has been much less money available from both developers and the LTP Integrated Transport Block than was anticipated when the LTP was written. The priority given – at both national and local level – to unlocking key developments sites has meant that available funding has been focused on key pieces of highway infrastructure that enable development proposals to be unlocked.
But the need to invest in sustainable modes remains, and despite the challenging times recent developments have included Cycle Connect, Smart Move and the Societal Total Transport company. The latest public response to these constraints were included in the Town Transport Strategy (2013). Not surprisingly, given the challenges posed by the Transport Strategy for Growth and the Northamptonshire Arc, the Northamptonshire Transportation Plan strongly embraces growth, while also needing to tackle other challenges such as road safety. The needs of growth are most directly assessed within the various Town Transport Strategies, with the Major Roads, Rail and Bus Strategies providing complementary information on inter-urban movements.
You've reached the end of your free preview.
Want to read all 25 pages?
- Fall '14
- Northamptonshire, Northampton