A new car park, hotel and flats are being proposed for the station site, with no plans to improve the surrounding walking and cycling infrastructure. This just builds in more car dependency.
Here’s a close-up of the plan for the St Andrew’s Road entrance.
The Department for Transport states that walking and cycling must be at the heart of transport policy, not an afterthought. We must make it more convenient to arrive at the station on foot or by bike than it is to drive. That’s what most cities are doing, and it’s what we should be doing in Northampton.
Here’s what we propose for this entrance:
What the application says:
“The majority of roads surrounding the site have good quality footways on both sides of the carriageway which are at least two metres wide…footways are present on both sides of the A5095 St Andrews Road carriageway. These are generally at least two-metres wide and are well maintained.”Quote from the application’s travel plan, page 8.
Much of the footway along St Andrews Rd is in fact narrow, poorly surfaced, and not up to a sufficient standard – here’s a shot from the station entrance:
What the application says:
“There is well-established cycle infrastructure surrounding the site…it is considered that the range of safe and convenient routes for cyclists will encourage residents, customers and visitors to engage in active modes of transport to and from the site.”Application travel plan, page 10.
Here’s the St Andrews Rd entrance to the station – where is the “well-established cycle infrastructure” here? And where is it at the nearby major junction with Spencer Bridge Rd?
In reality there is no cycling infrastructure on this side of the station. There’s no safe route to the station from from Kettering Rd, Wellingborough Rd, or Kingsthorpe.
Most people wouldn’t dream of cycling to the station, and this proposal would create more traffic and make walking and cycling even more difficult.
If this site is to be “developed”, let’s make it an opportunity to do something positive for the town by building some modern active travel infrastructure that will change how people travel to the station.
Have your say
You can view all the documents and add your comments here. Don’t be put off by all the documents – we’ve put the most relevant documents here:
- Travel Plan (pages 8-10 talk about walking and cycling)
- Map of the site
Here’s what we submitted as our response.
West Northants Council has declared a climate emergency, and also recognizes that the town has illegal levels of air pollution. The council also has a policy of encouraging people to walk or cycle instead of drive.
This planning application should therefore be rejected because it will create more traffic driving to the station site, increasing levels CO2 emissions and air pollution. The infrastructure in the area for walking and cycling is extremely poor, which is why most arrivals at the station are already by car.
The Travel Plan document in this application falsely states that “there is well-established cycle infrastructure surrounding the site” and that “safe and convenient routes for cyclists will encourage residents, customers and visitors to engage in active modes of transport to and from the site.”
In reality, there is no satisfactory cycle infrastructure to get to the site. There is very poor provision on shared-use pavements on Black Lion Hill, and from the St Andrews Road direction there is nothing at all. The Travel Plan notes the existence of long distance “National Cycle Routes” (NCNs) nearby, but this is not relevant – these routes do not comply with modern cycling infrastructure standards, and do not encourage local walking or cycling.
There are no safe routes for residents to cycle to the station, especially from the north, eg Kettering Rd, Wellingborough Rd, or Kingsthorpe.
In addition, many of the pavements approaching the station from the St Andrews Road side are narrow, heavily polluted because of excessive traffic, and poorly maintained.
We consider that no development should take place at the station until proper infrastructure has been added to enable residents from all parts of the town arrive there by sustainable transport.
ENTRANCE FROM BLACK LION HILL
Access from Black Lion Hill is congested – more width is needed to accommodate people on foot and people cycling. The proposed scooter parking marked at point 9 already exists – this exacerbates the congestion problem.
ENTRANCE FROM ST ANDREWS RD
- It is important to note that the cycle path won’t be used if it’s not the easiest route into and out of the station
- The proposed cycle path coming from the cycle parking area to St Andrew’s Road ends just before it is needed most, ie at the approach to the junction. The segregated path needs to continue alongside the station entrance road all the way to the junction.
- People arriving on foot or by bike at the St Andrews Road entrance will be coming from the west. It is essential therefore that a crossing is provided from the west side of the entrance across to the north side of St Andrews Road. For cycles, this should join directly with the cycle path into the cycle parking area, with no curbs. The cycle crossing and pedestrian crossing should be separated, and angled along the desire line across the road, in a similar way to the crossing in Farringdon Road, London, north of Blackfriars Bridge.
- It is unclear what the walking route is from St Andrews Road to the station building. This should be clearly marked for pedestrians, who should be given priority at all crossing points within the station. The crossing points should be raised so that people using the pavements do not have to change heights – this is important for people using a wheelchair, pushing a buggy, or pulling a suitcase.
- The cycle parking should be covered, including the mount/dismount area.
- The cycle parking should include spaces for non-standard and adapted bikes, eg trikes and cargo bikes.
- Cycle parking should have video surveillance.
- See the LTN1/20 standards
To underline our first comments – allowing this development to go ahead would be a complete contradiction to the council’s commitments to net zero, its stated desire to reduce air pollution, and its policy to encourage more people to walk or cycle instead of drive.