This page is a summary of the current road safety and traffic management activities including the Northampton North Orbital Route (NNOR) and A43 dualling, and will be updated as new initiatives are considered and implemented. Apart from the safety issues faced today, traffic management will become increasingly important with the impacts of the Overstone Leys/Overstone Green and other developments.
Update – Road Safety Appeal outcome email dated 19 March
Dear Mr Scordellis
Thank you for attending the Speed Limit Appeal Meeting on Tuesday 6th March 2018 and making representations on behalf of Holcot Parish Council. The members of the Panel and I were pleased to meet you in order to discuss your appeal to re-consider the original Panel decision which declined a variety of speed limit reductions in and around Holcot village but specifically in relation to the approaches from Moulton Road, Sywell Road and Walgrave Road.
You were able to offer your views and observations, supplemented by a comprehensive presentation, which included data and related photographs, and appreciates the amount of work and effect you put into your presentation. We were also able to share our data and observations with you during the subsequent discussions with members of the Panel and Cllr Shephard. As you know, members of the Panel are very familiar with these sections of road and have spent time there observing traffic behaviours prior to the meeting.
As mentioned previously, I am the Asset and Traffic Manager and have delegated authority from the County Council to provide final determination in speed limit consultations. I have no involvement in the Speed Limit Review Panel and am independent of its decision making process. Prior to the meeting I had reviewed all available reports and correspondence between the Panel and interested parties and familiarised myself with the issues raised. I am also familiar with the road network around Holcot, including the relevant roads which are subject to this appeal.
Having now had time to deliberate, and taking everything into account, I hold the view that the current posted speed limits remain appropriate for all sections of road and surrounding environment. In reaching this conclusion, I am mindful that determining an appropriate speed limit is not an exact science and can often divide opinion. The roads around Holcot are typical of the vast majority of rural network around the county and the UK in general. These roads tend to bend and undulate; vary in width; present the occasional farm, property or dwelling frontage and generally allow motorists to make safe progress within the national speed limit of 60mph. We receive regular submissions for speed limit extensions where there is no realistic prospect of compliance and which are usually based upon the mistaken notion that a pair of terminal signs, without significant calming measures, will be enough to ensure that motorists observe the posted speed limit. This often results in a community expectation that the local authority will retrospectively install physical calming measures or the police carry out enforcement activity. I am of the view that extended terminal signs proposed in this submission will not encourage observance of the limit, or the desired change in behaviour, and a careful and competent motorist may not therefore fully appreciate why a lower restriction is in force resulting in widespread non-compliance, also the surrounding environment does not suggest the reasoning of a lower limit. In addition, our police colleagues do not support these proposed amendments and hold the view that it is unfair to criminalise non-compliance when there is no compelling road safety justification.
We also have to be mindful that reduced limits can produce a false sense of safety for a local community when widespread non-compliance prevails. Currently, there is no significant collision history relating to these sections of road, which takes account of a 10 year analysis period and the context of high volume traffic flow. Road safety issues are often better addressed through enhanced signage/road markings measures which target adverse behaviours, improve conspicuity of hazards or encourage caution at site-specific locations. I understand that a programme of signage measures is already underway, and other options being considered, which may help to encourage greater restraint on the approach to, and within the confines of the village.
I am sure this outcome will be disappointing to you, but unfortunately it is impossible to totally eliminate the daily risks involved when travelling on the road network particularly when the vast majority of collisions are caused through human behavioural factors, and competent driving depends on good reactions, judgement and hazard assessment.
Thank you once again for taking the time to attend the meeting.
Asset & Traffic Manager
Northamptonshire County Council
Transport & Highways
One Angel Square
Tel: 01604 364366
Update – road engineering 7 January 2018
At the Annual Parish Meeting in May last year, the Parish supported the outline proposals for the redesign of the junctions of Moulton Road/Back Lane and Poplars Lane/ Walgrave Road. The Parish Council agreed to consult on the final designs from Northamptonshire Highways. The objectives of both of these schemes is to support the road safety objectives of the Parish by controlling the speed of traffic on these roads and making the junctions more obvious.
The plans have now been received. The scheme for Poplars Lane is as envisaged, with a “squaring-off” of the junction. The scheme for Back Lane does not now incorporate a closing of the south-side of the War Memorial, but is a squaring off of the junction to make it much more of a “T”. The plans are below.
Please provide any comments to Lisa Callan before the end of January (email@example.com). The Parish Council will consider comments at their February meeting before giving the go-ahead (or otherwise) based on the plans, and associated costs once these are received.
General Update 7 January 2018
There have been several accidents on the Parish roads over recent months.
Speed education – Community Speedwatch 2018 has been announced. Our slots are weeks 16 June, 30 June, and 14 July. This can’t happen without volunteers, so please volunteer by email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Lisa on 781230 even if you aren’t available for every week. Each daily session takes an hour, and the more volunteers the fewer sessions each person is needed – last March each participant probably did 4-6 sessions each over the three-week period.
Speed limits – The Parish Council are still working to extend the 30mph limits beyond the village boundaries. In working to overturn the refusal by Northamptonshire County Council’s speed limit committee we engaged our MP and County Councillor in helping us. We wrote to the Chief Constable who directed us back to NCC, and we have now submitted a written appeal to the County Council’s Appeal Panel that meets on 6 February. We have the support of all relevant parties other than the Panel. We have put the appeal for our request for a 20mph zone for the village into abeyance until a central government study is available early this year.
Speed reduction – Northamptonshire Highways have provided initial design and placement of engineering improvements. We still expect that a VASID (a “Vehicle Activated Speed Indication Device”) will be installed around the Parish over the winter – we are currently working through positioning locations.
Update 24 August – speed
Pedestrian Survival rates:
20MPH – 97.5%
30MPH – 80%
35MPH – 50%
40MPH – 10%
— Dave Harford (@dharford79) August 22, 2017
Update 6 August – A43 roadworks
As part of the ongoing Moulton Bypass works Balfour Beatty have a series of planned weekend road closures on the A43 for the following weekends to allow for the works to be carried out safely:
1. Fri 3rd to Mon 6th November.
2. Fri 10th to Mon 13th November.
3. Fri 17th to Mon 20th November.
4. Fri 24th to Mon 27th November.
5. Fri 1st to Mon 4th December.
The roads will be closed from Friday at 20.00 until Monday at 06.00 and will affect the A43 and Overstone Lane and they are shown, along with the diversion routes here https://roadworks.org?tm=175046
Update : 3 August 2017
This letter was sent to Northamptonshire Highways from Holcot Parish Council today in response to the NNOR consultation.
Update 1 June
The NCC’s Speed Limit Review panel’s rejection of Holcot Parish Council’s request for reduced speed limits. The Annual Parish Meeting asked that the Decision Notice was published. The Parish Council are gathering information to appeal.
Update 3 April : A43 dualling
The A43 website page has been updated by NCC.
The major activities are summarised in the following table.
|Monday ?3 April to end of August.
Mondays to Fridays 09.30 hrs to15.30 hrs.
|4 way lights at A43 Moulton Roundabout.
We will also be constructing the new roundabout and upgrading the junction. We will be moving the existing pedestrian crossing for the completed scheme. During these works a temporary controlled crossing will be in place.
|?Saturday 6 May to Monday 8 May 06.00 hrs.||?Weekend closure of Overstone LaneThe full length of Overstone Lane will be closed however access will be maintained for residents.
This is necessary to connect the new drainage system.
Alternative route via A43 Kettering Road to The Avenue, turn left onto The Avenue.
Alternative route ends at the junction with Sywell Road.
Alternative route for traffic from Sywell and Billing Lane will be the reverse. Temporary parking restriction will be required on this road whilst this road is used as an alternative route.
|?Monday 5 June for up to 4 weeks.
Works will be carried out under lane restrictions and two way lights.
|Two way lights on Overstone Road between the access for 79/80 to the junction with Park View.
All residents will have access to properties.Remodelling the junction to create a more simplified route.National Grid will also be working with us to install new gas mains.
|?Friday 10 to Monday 13 November.
Friday 17 to 20 November – 20.00 hrs.
|?Weekend road closure in November on A43 Kettering Road from the junction with Ashley Lane and The Avenue to Sywell roundabout, and including Overstone Lane and Overstone Road.
Carriageway resurfacing.A43 northbound through traffic alternative route at Round Spinney roundabout. Take the exit for the A5067 to the junction with A508 and turn right, follow the A508 to the A14, take the A14 eastbound to the junction for the A43, follow the A43 to Sywell roundabout. Alternative route for through traffic on the A43 southbound will be the reverse.Local traffic for Moulton or Overstone will use Ashley Road or The Avenue. There is a 7.5 tonne weight limit restriction on Ashley Lane which will need temporary suspension whilst this road is used as an alternative route.Additionally temporary parking restriction will be required on these roads.Provision will be made to allow access for residents on Park View during the times this road closure will be in place.
|?Various nights, as required between 6 May to 1 December 2017 .
20.00 hrs to 6.00 hrs.
|?Overnight road closures.
We will provide advance warning signs if we need to close the roads in the vicinity of the A43 improvement works.
|?Spring 2018.||?Scheme due for completion.|
Road safety in Holcot
— Architect (@PM_10_55_03) February 18, 2017
General update – 19 February
As mentioned in the December parish newsletter, the Speedwatch campaign is part of a package of road safety measures that the Parish Council is seeking to implement to help control the already increased traffic arising from the A43 widening and Overstone Leys building works.
Included in this package are proposals;
- 20mph limits within the village, and 30mph to the edge of the inhabited area of the parish;
- a ‘gateway’ on Sywell Road to slow traffic;
- works to restrict the Poplars Lane/Walgrave Road and Back Lane/Moulton Road junctions to restrict high-speed rat running;
- A VASID moveable speed warning indicator.
Engineers are due to start finalising designs and costs of the proposals shortly. The speed limit proposals have to be approved by the relevant NCC Committee, which met on 7 February – they have asked for further investigation, and you will see speed monitoring devices have gone up around the Parish. Funding is provided by NCC from so-called “Section 106” contributions from the Overstone Leys developers, with a contribution from the Parish.
Updates will be posted as these proposals develop.
Update 26 October 2016
The work to dual the A43 between Moulton and the Holcot roundabout starts in earnest on 31 October.
The table below is a summary of the timetable taken from Northamptonshire Highways A43 project webpage.
If you would like to join the mailing list for this project, please email Rebecca RMiller@kierwsp.co.uk
|October 2016||Strimming the verges and cutting back the vegetation|
|31 October to 02 November 2016||Night closures from 20:00 to 06:00 hours. The signed diversion route will be via the A509 and A45|
|October 2016 to early December 2016||On site preparation with the works compound installed in November 2016. Traffic should not be affected as most of the work is happening off the Highway|
|December 2016||No works over Christmas to allow for people to travel easily during this busy shopping period|
|January 2017||Main construction to start. Further details of the scheme programme will be available as the works progress. Traffic management will be in place, whilst we build the dual carriageway but full two lane provision will be maintained for traffic, whenever possible|
|Winter 2017 to 2018||Scheme due for completion|
The Parish Council have expressed the Parish’s concerns about the impact of the works on traffic through Holcot and associated road safety issues, and are attending a meeting with the project team next week.
Update 29 August : NNOR update – report to NCC Cabinet
A report has been prepared for the NCC Cabinet – basically, it says “more work required”. It also proposes a further public consultation, with a proposal of the preferred route to Cabinet by Summer 2017.
Holcot gets plenty of mentions in the full report, with the views of Parishioners and the Parish Council well-represented.
Alternative route options are also considered.
Northamptonshire County Council’s NNOR page is here.
Update 16 June – A43 dualling
Update 19 April : DDC Strategy Group Report on NNOR
Please see this report presented to DDC’s Strategy Group on 14 April. It discusses the NNOR, considering a fifth option. It omits any discussion about the road safety implications of the NNOR for Holcot and Walgrave Ward in general (the Holcot Parish Council’s letter is further down this page).
Update 13 April : HGVs
Holcot has in place a 7.5 tonne weight limit, meaning that vehicles heavier than this are not legally permitted to use ANY of the roads in the village.
There are number of exemptions that may apply: namely access for plant/agricultural vehicles, public transport and to allow for local deliveries. It’s clear to all in the village that tens of HGVs in excess of 7.5 tonnes rattle through our village daily; it’s hard to believe that all of these satisfy the permitted exemptions.
In response to the Parish Council’s and wider community’s growing concerns with the volumes of HGVs that travel through the village, Northamptonshire Police’s Safer Roads Team have agreed to manage a Lorry Watch scheme in the village. The Force is currently only supporting this scheme in 2 other villages countywide and as such we are fortunate to be included.
Under the scheme, when resource allows, a van with automated number plate recognition (ANPR) technology will be positioned in the village capturing the details of all HGVs that travel past. This data is then downloaded to establish how many of the HGVs were over 7.5 tonnes and the owners of those identified as such will subsequently be contacted asking them to evidence that they satisfied any of the exemptions to travel in the village. Those that aren’t able to provide appropriate evidence will be dealt with by the Force appropriately.
The van was most recently placed in the village on the Sywell Road from 20:21 on 22 February until 13:57 on 25 February – during which time 61 vehicles over 7.5 tonnes travelled passed the van.
The Parish Council will continue to keep you updated of progress of this Lorry Watch scheme and we encourage all residents who have concerns related to this topic to contact Cllr Buckle.
Update 4 April 2016 – Parish Council Letter re NNOR consultation
This letter was sent to Northamptonshire Highways from Holcot Parish Council.
Update 4 April – NCC’s update regarding the Moulton bypass
A43 Northampton – Kettering Improvements The start of construction on the Phase 1b (Moulton Bypass) scheme has been delayed as some landowners have been unwilling to negotiate with us over the sections of their land required for the bypass. Compulsory Purchase Order procedures are therefore being instigated. However, should this lead to the need for a public inquiry, it is expected that this will lead to a delay in the start of construction of at least one year. We are therefore investigating whether it is possible to make an initial start on other sections of the overall improvements (including the Phase 2 dualling to the Holcot/Sywell roundabout).
HGV Survey – 9 October 2015
Over 70 vehicles were logged in the 12 hours of the survey. This of course excludes buses and other similar public service vehicles.
The Police are following up the vehicles recorded in this survey – about 30 drivers received letters from the Police to ascertain whether they were working locally.
There was general surprise from the authorities regarding the volume of vehicles that are breaking the 7.5 tonne restriction.
The next step is to lobby for an enduring solution.
Update 21 September 2015
There has been some progress on lobbying for improving road signage for the ‘hidden dip’ between Moulton and Holcot. More details will be provided once confirmed.
Update 29 October : The Parish Council have been advised that the materials required to undertake the changes have been ordered by Northamptonshire Highways. There are no dates for installation.
Update 20 January 2016
Thank you to everyone who provided information regarding “near misses” on the Moulton-Holcot Road near the hidden dip.
You will see that Northamptonshire Highways have now upgraded the sign warning of the hidden dip.
Update 21 September 2015 – Planning Application DA/2013/0850 (Amended) re 2000 houses at Overstone Leys
This application has been approved by the District and County Councils, along with the re-routing of the A43 around Moulton.
The Parish Council are continuing to monitor the progress with the final negotiations around these applications, and will lobby for s106 road improvements at the appropriate juncture.
Some drivers using Back Lane travel at excessive speeds without regard for the risks – which include children playing in the road, the proximity to users of the Village Hall and the playing field, as well as the nature of residents houses being close to the lane.
Residents have been working with the County Council to consider ways of slowing down the traffic in Back Lane, particularly at peak hours where it is used as a means of avoiding the crossroads. Recognising the issues faced, the various public authorities involved have been extremely pro-active and supportive.
The first evidence of the action being taken was a new road sign in Back Lane prompting drivers about the playing field and children playing.
The next step was to stop up the slip road from Sywell Road onto Back Lane, meaning that entry into Back Lane from this direction will be a left-turn up Sunny Bank. This has the effect of slowing traffic coming up (i.e. east-west) Back Lane, and will make it less attractive as a (high-speed) rat-run. This work was completed in November 2014.