South Northamptonshire MP Andrea Leadsom has called on England’s Economic Heartland Strategic Alliance (EEHSA) to submit a bid for funding for the Farthinghoe Bypass through the Department for Transport’s Major Road Network Fund (MRN).
The MP has been liaising with Northamptonshire County Council (NCC), the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP), and EEHSA to press for a joint bid for the bypass, the delivery of which has been a main infrastructure priority for Mrs Leadsom along with the Towcester Relief Road.
The Minister of State for Transport, Michael Ellis MP, informed the MP this week that the deadline to submit prioritised schemes in order to be considered for funding is July 31.
Andrea said: “I have been informed this morning, in a letter from the DfT, that the deadline for funding bids through the MRN is the 31st July 2019.
“I have therefore emailed the relevant people at NCC, SEMLEP, and EEHSA to request that they honour their commitment to my constituents in Farthinghoe, and to all those road-users in the wider region, to submit a bid for funding for the Farthinghoe Bypass and that they do so by the deadline.
“This really is a hugely important issue for my constituents, and would be of immense benefit to all those who use the A422 and surrounding roads.
She added: “I am due to meet the involved parties on the 12th September, and I very much hope we have made significant progress by then.”
Farthinghoe is the only community between Banbury and Milton Keynes on the A422 / A421 which has not yet been bypassed.
The s-bend through the village means that there are regular collisions between HGVs, property is damaged when vehicles try to squeeze past each other, and there are pedestrians who are in constant danger of being seriously injured or worse, not least the village schoolchildren who have to walk along the footpath next to dangerous volumes of traffic.
There is also the wider economic impact to the region when the A422 does have to close because of a collision, meaning many hours lost for commuters and freight traffic as they reroute elsewhere, compounding the problem for other communities.
Previously, EEHSA, NCC and SEMLEP had agreed to support a joint bid for funding for the bypass, including end-to-end design work, via the Majpr Road Network Fund.
The project also has the widespread support of the community, a petition of thousands of signatures calling for the bypass to be built, and the support of the three major freight haulage associations.