‘End 20-year wait for
a bypass for our village’

Lorry overturned on the A422 in Farthinghoe. Residents in the village are campaigning for a bypass. NNL-150113-112305001
Lorry overturned on the A422 in Farthinghoe. Residents in the village are campaigning for a bypass. NNL-150113-112305001

‘We need a bypass’ is the message from residents in a south Northants village.

Campaigners in Farthinghoe have been calling for a bypass for the past 20 years and say they have not received enough support from Northants County Council.

John Grant, from Farthinghoe Parish Council, said a bypass had been scheduled for development in 1992 with two potential routes identified, but the county council decided not to go ahead.

He said: “We have been fighting for over 20 years to have the project reinstated, but all we keep being told is there is no money available.”

He added a traffic survey, carried out on the A422 between August 7 and 12 last year had recorded more than 50,000 vehicles travelling through the village, 15 per cent of which were heavy goods vehicles (HGV).

And over the Christmas break, two lorries got stuck in the village.

“A bypass is a major requirement for us, particularly as the number and size of HGVs travelling through the village is increasing on a daily basis,” Mr Grant said.

The campaigners have written to chancellor George Osborne asking for a bypass to be considered as one of 80 road projects to benefit from £15 billion announced in the government’s 2014 autumn statement. They have also raised the issue with South Northants MP Andrea Leadsom.

Mr Grant said the county council, as an interim to a bypass, had told them a feasibility study was planned for this year to investigate putting in a priority system and that “reconstruction of the A422 carriageway through Farthinghoe is a priority maintenance scheme for the new financial year.”

But it added it was ‘in no way a promise the work would be carried out’.

A spokesman for Northants County Council said: “The county council has given serious consideration to the traffic problems at Farthinghoe, but as ever improvements cost money and at the present time our budgets in all areas are under significant pressure.

“A bypass for Farthinghoe is identified in our major roads strategy, adopted by cabinet in December 2013, as a possible scheme to be considered in the future. Major projects such as this are generally funded by grants from central government, and unfortunately one hurdle at present is that government funding sources for major transport schemes either require, or strongly favour, those which are able to give significant local contributions.

“Typically these come from funds known as Section 106 contributions, which are intended for improving local infrastructure, and are given by developers when they build houses.

“There is no obvious source of such funding for a Farthinghoe bypass, as the developments in Banbury and elsewhere which generate additional traffic on the A422 are too far away for developers to be required to contribute to an improvement.”