Travel and Transport in Wellingborough and North Northants

We now have a new council – the North Northants Unitary and May 6th presents an opportunity to vote in a better solution in Wellingborough and North Northamptonshire.  With services all controlled by one authority, our overall travel and transport strategy can be unified and can be so much better if it becomes Labour controlled.

Since 2005, the Tories have dominated and controlled the County Council and the borough council here too.  Local Labour have a different offering.  We want to make changes to ensure services and facilities across the new entire council area are as effective and efficient as can be for residents.

One area I want to focus on in this blog post is travel and transport.  I’ll briefly look at some of my ideas that I’ll push for to make our local area a better place to live and work in.  Also, I’ll look at the failures from years of Tory incompetence and what can be done to make it better for all.  Our built environment has such an enormous impact on our lives.

Active Travel

I’m an active travel advocate.  The benefits of tying movement – both walking and cycling into one’s daily routine bring enormous benefits both to individuals and to wider society.  For the individual the physical and mental health benefits of being active are enormous and for society removing the number of cars from the road clears room and makes space so required journeys, including emergency services can reach their destinations more efficiently.  Fewer short trip car journeys means more space but importantly means less air and noise pollution and less risk of danger.

Croyland Park – very popular active travel route


Walking and cycling needs to be encouraged but importantly it needs to be enabled as well.  Through our policies, we shall bring about changes on both of these fronts to make a better society for all.  We shall prioritise the most efficient movement of people ensuring it is comfortable, quick, easy and safe.


Changes to our built environment facilitate this and enable this.  An urgent action required is ensuring every junction has dropped kerb.  It is a legal requirement under the Equality Act 2010 yet still there are junctions across Wellingborough without this.  Pedestrian crossings need adjusting so if you are walking, you are prioritised.  Why stand waiting for the traffic to totally pass before the lights then change?


Bus services in Wellingborough have been cut back for well over a decade.  Services on Queensway have been trimmed back and buses on Kingsway completely stopped.  Whilst door knocking the other day, I spoke to a resident who at 89 years old is completely isolated in her home.  She could not walk all the way to Doddington Road or Northampton Road to get the bus into town.  I want to bring back our local bus services.  They should be regular and cheap and have logical routes.  We need more local authority control on the buses.


Buses do not stop on Kingsway anymore.  I will try to bring them back.



Potholes are a pain to everyone’s life.  From motorists, to walkers to people on bicycles they are not only a discomfort but can be costly and dangerous.  Safety is the issue here.  Over a decade of under-investment means the pothole situation in Wellingborough is dire.  The Tories have been intent on outsourcing, despite it not being the best situation here and awarded the Highways contract to a private company.  A scrutiny committee review last year revealed that this company, despite receiving millions from the council, were acting as ‘judge and jury’ and also ‘prosecution and defence’.  They were essentially marking their own homework and deciding which jobs to prioritise without any checks and balances which should have independently been audited.  This has meant a waste of money but notably essential work not being carried out or checked and a patching fix pushed which does not work in all situations.  I think Highways needs to be brought back in-house.


Cycle network

In the early 2000s when Labour led the borough council, they installed a cycle network around the town.  Extending from the town centre, through Croyland Park, up towards Sainsbury’s, Stanwell Park and there are routes through Queensway and across the width of Gleneagles.  These routes are extremely popular but have urgently needed review to improve it for the last decade.  It needs completely joining up.  The motorcycle chicanes need to be removed.  A borough council report in 2009 stated their installation to try and kerb  motorcycle nuisance through the parks has been totally ineffective.  It stated that all the railing chicanes do is inhibit legitimate users of the park.  Any cycling, or use of an adapted bicycle, bicycle with a trailer, or using a wheelchair or mobility scooter can be either severely limited or totally denied access because of these chicanes.  I shall call on their removal as the government’s policy document – LTN 1/20 released in July last year recommends.  This not only encourages cycling by making this more accessible but enables it.


Motorbike railings need to go.  They are ineffective.  All they do is hinder legitimate users.


There needs to be action to make physical changes to the environment and above I have mentioned just a few of my ideas.

How can we live in a society where it is near on impossible and feels incredibly dangerous to make a short direct cycle ride from Wellingborough to Kettering, to Finedon, to Northampton or to Rushden?  We need an inter-town and village comprehensive network of very wide multidirectional separate and segregated cycle lanes.  On some roads in the town itself it can sometimes feel and be awfully dangerous because of the facilities or mostly lack thereof.

In terms of walking, how can we live in a society where it is not safe to walk?  Crossing from Wellingborough into Wilby is not for the faint hearted.  Why are there not dropped kerbs at every junction for those with limited mobility?

Crossing from into Wilby is awful.


An area that should be for shopping, perusing and spending time in, our town centre, has a busy through road.  Why?  There is a partial ring road for this.  Shouldn’t the town centre be a pleasant, pollution free and safe place for people?


This should be a car free area.  There is a partial ring road.  It would help the local economy not having motorists cutting through the area.

There are 5 videos in the playlist. Click the top right of the video.


Change is needed to make Wellingborough and North Northants a better place.



Vote Labour on May 6th.


Article written by Samuel Shoesmith


Comments are closed