More ideas for your email

Choose the issues you feel strongly about and add these to your email (include your name and postcode):

Pavements & walking

Many walking routes to the town centre are very poor, with narrow cluttered pavements in poor condition and unsafe crossings and road junctions. And because there is no safe space for them on the road, pavements are made dangerous by people riding bikes and scooters. I urge you to prioritise pavement and crossing improvements above any improvements for motor vehicles.

Walking and cycling to school

In Northampton too many children are driven to school because parents consider it unsafe for them to walk or cycle. This creates more traffic, further compounding the problem of unsafe and polluted streets. I urge you to prioritise walking and cycling routes to schools over any improvements for motor vehicles.

Cycling routes to the town centre

Our council received £1.3m in 2020 to create a safe eastern cycling route into the town centre. Yet despite repeated promises to come up with options the council is now abandoning the Billing Road section and has still not produced any plans. I urge you to take the opportunity to properly create this active travel route – there are many alternatives to the one-way proposal that would make these streets better for everyone.

Air pollution

Overuse of motor vehicles is the biggest cause of the illegal levels of air pollution in our town. These are well in excess of both government and WHO recommended levels. The council needs to fulfil its legal obligation to both measure air pollution and create and implement a plan to reduce it by reducing the use of motor vehicles.

Improving the Economy

It’s very well documented that active travel is good for business (p4 & 9).  People on foot or on a bike are much more likely to call in at a shop, and statistically they spend much more than someone driving.  I urge you to prioritise walking and cycling routes to the town centre above any road improvements for motor vehicles.

Cycle parking

If we genuinely want people to change from driving to cycling, we need to provide secure indoor parking in the town centre and at the station, and proper cycle racks at all local shops.  We can’t expect people to leave their car at home and take their bike if they have to search around for a lamppost to lock it to when they arrive.

We also need to provide secure cycle parking in residential areas – up to 10 bikes can be stored in the space used by one car.  I urge you to prioritise cycle parking over car parking in order to help people to make the transition from driving to cycling.

The station

Most people who commute by train use a car to get to and from Northampton station.  The council needs to encourage people to walk or cycle instead.  Currently there is no safe cycling route to the station from most directions.  For example, coming from the North, the Abington Square junction is unsafe, and there is no cycling route from there through the town centre to the station.

In addition, access to the station via the car park is very unfriendly.  The building of the new multistorey car park is an opportunity to create better, more secure cycle parking and a safe, smooth and convenient access route from St Andrews Road.  I urge you to make access and parking for cycles a top priority in the station car park planning.

Cost of living

According to cabinet meeting documents from 13 September addressing the cost of living crisis, one of the significant  issues named by residents is Reduction in the ability to travel (cost of petrol, bus fares).  Improving accessibility for cycling and walking would enable people to make alternative choices that would make a real difference to their regular outgoings.  I urge you to consider the travel options for people on low incomes and provide safe space for walking and cycling.


Enabling people to travel to school, to work or to the shops on foot or by bike results in regular activity.  We know that this is massively beneficial for both mental and physical health.

Government figures show that 1 in 6 deaths are caused by inactivity (p8) and we know that nationally over 60% of adults are overweight or obese.  


It’s vital that we use every opportunity to create better infrastructure for walking and cycling.   The town centre regeneration project needs to be urgently examined to ensure that it includes safe cycling routes through the town centre.

Likewise, when new housing is built, proper infrastructure needs to be created to enable residents to walk or cycle into town, to work and to the shops, rather than just building shared-use paths within the development.

Inclusive streets

Our streets should be welcoming to everyone, including people with disabilities.  Disabled parking bays should be better marked, and their use should be better enforced.  Spaces on the road should be allocated for refuse collections on the road, to prevent pavements being blocked.   

The council should use its new powers to outlaw pavement parking, which often forces people into the road or makes their journey impossible.  Barriers on paths in parks and elsewhere need to be modified to ensure that mobility scooters and adapted trikes can pass through.

Parents with young children

Parents walking with toddlers or pushing buggies are often forced into the road by pavement parking, which the council now has the powers to outlaw.  The design of many road junctions encourages drivers to go faster, and junctions are often too wide to cross safely.


West Northants Council has signed up to the UK100 NetZero Pledge.  With transportation the biggest emitter of CO2, it is essential that we reduce car use.  The only way to achieve this is to make our streets more friendly and accessible for cycling, walking and wheeling.

Vision Zero

Oslo adopted its Vision Zero policy to eliminate all pedestrian and cycling fatalities in 2015, and By implementing a coordinated policy of lower speed limits and reallocation of road space, fatalities were reduced from 41 to zero in just 4 years.

The Vision Zero concept refuses to accept the idea that death and serious injury are an inevitable part of moving within our road system.  A number of UK authorities are now implementing their own Vision Zero plans (including neighbouring Oxfordshire), and we call on West Northants to do the same.

Speed Limits

A 30mph limit is no longer fit for purpose for urban and village streets. Many local and national governments are replacing 30mph with 20mph on most roads, as recommended by the UN and the OECD. 26 million people in the UK now live in places where parties from across the political spectrum have agreed 20mph limits where people live, work, play, learn and shop.

Wide-area 20mph speed limits improve safety, perceptions of risk, and encourage healthier travel choices. We urge West Northants to make the life-saving decision to make 20mph the default speed limit for built-up areas.