29 Nov North Northamptonshire Council commits further funding to developing Isham bypass plans
Preparation of plans for the A509 Isham bypass have taken a step forward after a decision by North Northamptonshire Council to commit further funding to the outline business case.
The decision was taken by Council Leader, Cllr Jason Smithers as an urgent decision, in accordance with the Council’s decision-making rules, to ensure the project was not delayed. It will see the Council use an additional £790,000 of capital money to update traffic modelling for the outline business case for the scheme as well as for progressing work on obtaining planning permission.
Final approval to use the funds in this way will be sought at a meeting of Full Council on December 7.
Funding for construction is currently being sought from the Government’s Major Road Network initiative, which follows a number of key gateway stages:
- Strategic Outline Business Case
- Outline Business Case
- Full Business Case
Cllr Matt Binley the Council’s Executive Member for Highways, Travel and Assets said:
“The Isham Bypass is part of the Major Road Network and this scheme is a much-needed project for the region.
“So we can progress the outline business case and planning application we have to provide additional information. We need to progress this as quickly as we can so it’s essential that we allocate the money to make it happen.”
The A509 Isham Bypass forms the first part of a strategy to dual the whole A509 between the A14 south of Kettering and the A45 at Wellingborough.
The Strategic Outline Business Case was prepared and submitted to the Department for Transport in November 2020.
As reported to Executive in November 2021, the Council secured £1.859m from the Department for Transport (DfT) towards the development of the Outline Business Case (OBC) and planning application for the scheme.
It subsequently became clear that the work to prepare the Outline Business Case and planning application was more extensive than previously thought, so in March 2023 Full Council agreed additional funding of £1.573m.
The DfT has now requested that the traffic modelling for the scheme is updated to reflect the latest version of the National Trip End Model – a database maintained by the DfT that is used to estimate the future growth in travel.
This requires sections of both the Outline Business Case and planning application to be updated, causing a delay in the timescale for submission of the planning application and Outline Business Case to May 2024, and at additional cost.
Cllr Jason Smithers, Leader of the Council, said:
“We welcome the recent confirmation from the Government that the construction of the Isham bypass will be fully funded by the Department for Transport.
“In order to secure the funding, the Council needs to obtain planning permission and submit the necessary business cases to the Department for Transport. We’re committed to this scheme, which is a top priority for the council as the route would not only help boost the local economy, enabling growth of both our housing and commercial sectors but also alleviate traffic pressures and air quality in the village of Isham, for whom this has been a long campaign.
“It’s important that we do everything we can to progress it as quickly as possible.”