£200,000 for Harborough’s big traffic masterplan

Traffic congestion in Market Harborough
Traffic congestion in Market Harborough

A major study aimed at developing a traffic “masterplan” for Market Harborough has been approved by the district council.

The council agreed this week to spend £100,000 on a transport study, which aims to provide solutions to future traffic problems from an increase in car use and an expanding town.

Another £100,000 will be supplied by Leicestershire County Council.

Conservative district council leader Blake Pain said the council was looking to get evidence to back bids for cash to provide traffic relief schemes for the town.

But Liberal Democrat opposition leader Phil Knowles said he was concerned that the plan was aimed at accommodating future developments in the town, rather than coping with problems from existing new homes plans.

Cllr Knowles said: “This masterplan is an important document.

“But one has to be concerned that it’s targeting 
more building rather than what’s already been approved.”

Cllr Pain said: “Even without house building, traffic would be increasing.

“And we do not deny there will also be an increase in traffic from 1,500 new homes in the town.

“This in-depth study will give us a credible evidence base to back up bids for money for traffic schemes.”

One possible scheme, for example, was a relief road between the A508 Northampton Road and the A6 Kettering Road to the south of the town.

But Cllr Pain said: “I wouldn’t want to second-guess what the solutions are.”

Harborough District Council will commission and undertake the survey in partnership with Leicestershire County Council.

Conservative councillors said they were optimistic about what it will achieve and that they hoped residents would welcome it.

Councillors also agreed that the public should be consulted as part of the £200,000 project.