The demand for public transport has risen in recent years. Changes in travel choices can happen for a number of reasons. It may be the cost of fuel, congested roads or the desire to be environmentally friendly. Many are also seeking healthier lifestyles. Instead of taking the car we may choose to cycle to work, the shops or walk to the bus stop.
Bus travel is widely regarded as the cheapest mode of public transport. A month’s bus pass can often be cheaper than filling up a car with a tank of petrol. Investment in public transport has resulted in higher quality services. Journey times have improved and services are more frequent and reliable.
The works to improve Gladstone Road are designed to help people who want to change their travel habits, from cars to public transport and “active travel” like walking and cycling.
They are one element of a much wider project to improve walking, cycling and public transport facilities across Northampton and in October 2009, Northamptonshire County Council held a public consultation to find out what residents of the area wanted from the proposed improvements.
Of the responses received, 91% of people wanted a safer environment along Gladstone Road, 70% of respondents wanted improved bus facilities whilst 87% supported improved pedestrian and cycle facilities. 87% of people who responded to the consultation also wanted more organised parking arrangements along the length of the street. Two options were presented (A & B) and Option B was preferred with more than three times as many votes as Option A.
Following this overwhelming support for what we are aiming to achieve and for Option B in particular, the project team have now completed the detailed design of the improvements to Gladstone Road, the aim of which is to make the street a safer and more attractive environment with better walking, cycling and public transport facilities. Footways will be re-surfaced and junctions will be changed, introducing curves to slow vehicles down.These areas will also feature high quality surface materials such as blockwork paving, instead of the more usual tarmac surfacing, to enhance their appearance. Bus stops will be upgraded and “Real Time Passenger Information” signs will be incorporated into new bus shelters.
In addition to the works through the residential area of Gladstone Road, we will also be upgrading the footways through the length of the industrial estate at the northern end to become combined footway / cycleways finishing at crossing facilities across Mill Lane.
What Happens Now?
Works will start on these exciting and much needed improvements on July 5th and last for approximately 36 weeks. These works will be undertaken by transport and highways service provider MGWSP and every reasonable effort will be made to minimise inconvenience experienced by residents during the construction process.
What can I expect in the first month?
Works will commence at the two main junctions at either end of Gladstone Road, Spencer Road to the south and Mill Lane to the north. These works will see the junction alignments improved and new signals installed. This work will require the use of temporary traffic signals, at off peak times, in order to keep traffic moving at the junctions and protect the safety of our workforce.
Works to Gladstone road will start with underground cable laying, some work by utility companies and the replacement of lighting columns along the length of the street.
The changes to introduce curves into the carriageway will start some weeks into the contract and progress, in stages, from either end of Gladstone Road. During these works it is inevitable that some parking will be restricted within the areas being worked on but access to properties will be maintained at all times. Public transport links will be maintained and where existing bus stops are affected, temporary provision within an accessible distance will be provided.
Tintern Avenue Proposals:
At the public consultation we asked residents if they would like to see more public space created by the removal of the roundabout at the junction with Tintern Avenue. 60% of respondents were in favour of this proposal.
We also asked if residents wished to see additional community facilities provided in this space and asked people to vote on the sort of facilities preferred for this area. The majority of responses received favoured landscaping with grass and tree planting.We are delighted to confirm that these features will now be incorporated into the new public space created by the removal of the roundabout. An artists impression of the new amenity space is shown opposite.
Contact the Team
Our hours of working will, in general, be 7.30am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday and 7.30am to 1.00pm on Saturdays. However some types of works will need to be undertaken outside of these times in order to minimise the disruption caused by them. Although the construction of such a major project will inevitably lead to some inconvenience, our aim is to keep these to an absolute minimum and leave residents with a safer and more attractive environment at the end of the construction period.
An MGWSP representative will be on site every day and you are welcome to contact our site team to discuss any issues you may have on 01604 883400.