South Northamptonshire MP Andrea Leadsom has today announced that funding has been secured for the initial work on the Farthinghoe bypass.
The MP has confirmed that South Northamptonshire District Council has provided £250k for a preliminary route assessment which will look at engineering and environmental issues as well as traffic and wider economic concerns, and will cover the costs of an updated consultation with the community following this assessment.
The announcement follows a meeting last Thursday, September 12, in Westminster with representatives from Northamptonshire County Council, England’s Economic Heartland, and the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership.
The work has now started, with the consultation expected to begin in the middle of next year.
Mrs Leadsom has also secured confirmation from the Transport Secretary that Pinch Point Fund money could be used to improve matters in Farthinghoe through the delivery of the bypass, which would tackle a congestion and accident hotspot on the local highway network.
The Transport Secretary welcomed the MP’s support for the scheme to relieve traffic problems on the A422, and has sent an Expression of Interest form – the initial stage for a bid through the Pinch Point Fund – to the County Council.
At the meeting on Thursday the County Council agreed to submit an Expression of Interest form ahead of the deadline of January 31 next year. Andrea will be meeting with the Transport Secretary this week to discuss this approach in more detail.
Andrea said: “I am absolutely thrilled that we have secured this money which will start the process of designing and building the much-needed Farthinghoe Bypass.
“Local residents have been calling for this road to be built for decades, and I am determined that we will get it done. After the disappointment earlier in the year that no bid had gone forward for the money through the Major Road Network, I am pleased that all partners are committed to moving this project forward.
“The £250k is a great start, and will allow us to get initial work done on the road whilst we work up the bid for Pinch Point Fund money.
“This really is a huge success for the local community and, whilst it’s still a ways away yet, we’re beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel.”
Cllr Jason Smithers, Northamptonshire County Council cabinet member for highways and place, added: “The County Council remains committed to the delivery of the Farthinghoe Bypass.
“Such a scheme would be of great benefit to the village and would help facilitate growth in the wider area.
“The Council is working with partners to identify funding streams which could be used to develop the scheme and to build the road.”