A43 danger spots high on council’s transport agenda

Traffic on the A43 at Towcester.'121009M-C171
Traffic on the A43 at Towcester.'121009M-C171

Dangerous hotspots on one of the district’s major roads are the focus of an audit following several serious accidents in recent years.

Members of South Northants Council’s planning policy and regeneration strategy committee heard an update from officers on Wednesday regarding an audit of the A43, which comes as the district braces itself for major changes in housing and transport infrastructure.

The dual carriageway caters for 37,000 vehicles a day and figures from Northants County Council show there have been 33 injuries related to crashes on the A43 in the past five years. They include two fatal crashes, 27 where motorists were seriously hurt, and four injuries. Officers have listed 21 issues that need to be considered as the Highways Agency prepares to spend £3.1million to reduce congestion at the A5 junction, and plans for HS2 to cross the dual carriageway at Whitfield.

Included in the list are badly-configured roundabouts which contribute to lorries shedding their loads, the bend near the Blisworth railway bridge, which has been the scene of ‘numerous RTA’s including fatal crashes’ and a reassessment of the Tiffield cross-over junction.

Speaking as a Towcester resident, councillor Joanne Lovell of Towcester Town Council said: “A lot of the issues people perceive are obvious, but if something’s done, with people carrying clipboards and measuring things, hopefully the facts will speak for themselves and add to any case for improvements.”

Changes are also suggested to prevent traffic from going through Silverstone village including additional slip roads at the A413 Whittlebury junction.

The report also considers the impact of housing growth in both Brackley and Towcester, and the A5 relief road around the Towcester urban extension.

Committee member Rupert Fordham said: “Safety is very much part of it, but also the report looks at potential sources of funding to improve traffic flow. These are not issues we are going resolve overnight, but the purpose of the report is to show they are on the agenda, and we are trying to put together a plan to deal with them all.”