Emergency Active Travel Fund

As part of its wider commitment to encourage more walking and cycling, the Department for Transport has allocated funding to local authorities to encourage more walking and cycling following the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly while the capacity of buses is limited.

See the Transport Secretary's announcement of this funding:


We are seeking the views of local residents, road users and other relevant groups on changes to the temporary light segregation on the southbound (downhill) cycle lane on Rushmere Road in Northampton. We would like to hear your views on four options. Further details on each of the options, plans, associated documents and how to submit your comments can be found on the consultation hub. The consultation will run from Friday 6 November to Friday 27 November 2020. 

Previous consultation

In order to help us identify possible schemes we consulted via the Commonplace website.

1,950 responses were received and we have reviewed potential schemes and examined some schemes for their potential to receive Tranche 1 funding.

Further schemes have been identified as possibilities for Tranche 2, or will be included in local cycling and walking infrastructure plans.

Comments can be viewed on the Commonplace website.

Consultation on the Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan for Northampton closed on 23 October 2020. The document can still be viewed on the consultation hub. We are currently analysing the results.

We are developing Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure plans for Higham Ferrers/Rushden and Wellingborough to Northampton, and we will be consulting on them later this year. Further plans will be developed for other towns in the future.

Tranche 1 funding

We have received £351,000 to implement short-term measures to encourage walking and cycling.

We are working with Borough and District Councils to identify potential schemes. While some schemes are intended to be permanent, most are either temporary measures or experimental.

The following schemes have been agreed so far:

​We are installing cycle racks at the following locations; except where marked as temporary they are intended to be permanent:

  • Brackley, High Street, near to Town Hall (temporary)
  • Brixworth Library
  • Brixworth, Northampton Road near Kennel Terrace
  • Burton Latimer, High Street/Latimer Close
  • Corby, Old Village, The Jamb
  • Corby, Rockingham Road, near Richardson's Cycles
  • Corby, Welland Vale Road, outside local shops
  • Desborough, Havelock Street, near junction with Station Road
  • Desborough, High Street opposite The George public house
  • Earls Barton, High Street, outside E Lee Butcher's
  • Harlestone Firs, adjacent to Harlestone Firs car park
  • Kettering, Dalkeith Place
  • Kettering, London Road Car Park
  • Kettering, Market Place
  • Kettering, Wadcroft Road Car Park
  • Kettering,High Street, near Nationwide
  • Kingsthorpe, Welford Road/Harborough Road junction
  • Moulton, Stocks Hill outside Co-op
  • Northampton, Abington Park
  • Northampton, Abington Street additional stands near Wellington Street
  • Northampton, Abington Street near St Giles Terrace
  • Northampton, Fish Street
  • Northampton, Guildhall Road
  • Northampton, Horsemarket, Sol Central Entrance Plaza
  • Northampton, St Giles Street between Castillian Street and Hazelwood Road
  • Northampton, St Giles Street near post office
  • Oundle, Market Place, outside Tesco
  • Raunds, High Street/The Square
  • Roade, High Street, outside newsagent
  • Rothwell, Market Hill plaza behind Market House
  • Thrapston, High Street, outside General Store
  • Thrapston, Oundle Road, outside One Stop
  • Towcester Brackley Road near A5 junction (temporary)
  • Towcester, Brackley Road/Pomfret Road
  • Wellingborough, Pebble Lane/Market Street
  • Woodford Halse, Station Road, outside pharmacy

​Temporary barriers are being installed from 19 October to close off the bus layby outside the Co-Op in Higham Ferrers, widening the footway to promote social distancing. This will allow people to queue safely for the Co-Op entrance while still having access to the bus service.

The bus stop will be temporarily relocated so that buses are able to stop in the main carriageway, but will still be accessible from outside the Co-Op, so that bus users are not inconvenienced. A raised border will also be provided to allow easier access to the buses.

We have experimentally installed wands to segregate the existing cycle lanes between Tresham Close and Linden Avenue from motor traffic.

This is the first time that we have used this form of segregated cycle lane in Northamptonshire​.

​We have temporarily removed a small number of parking spaces from Silver Street in Kettering, widening the footpath and creating a safer area for pedestrians.

A survey of the uses and spaces in the town centre has been undertaken to identify ways of helping business to recover, alongside providing a safe environment for people to move around.

This is the second of this type of scheme in Kettering, the first of which brought about changes to Montagu Street.

We have experimentally installed wands to segregate the existing southbound cycle lane between Billing Road and the Northampton Old Scouts Rugby Football Club from motor traffic.

​We have temporarily widened the footways on the north side of St Giles Street in Northampton to enable social distancing.

On-street parking bays on the north side of the road between Hazelwood Road and the Guildhall have been suspended so that people can walk where vehicles are normally parked.

Ramps have also been provided to help people to cross the kerbs and barriers have been installed to protect them from the moving traffic.

​Bus lanes along Weedon Road and St James Road in Northampton, which previously only operated during the morning peak, will be experimentally extended to operate 24 hours per day from Monday 3 August 2020.

This change will serve to benefit cyclists and taxis who are permitted to use the bus lane.

We have temporarily widened the footways on Cambridge Street in Wellingborough, thereby enabling social distancing.

On-street parking bays have been suspended so that people can walk where vehicles are normally parked.

Ramps have been provided to help people cross the kerbs, and barriers installed to protect them from the moving traffic.  ​

We have temporarily widened the footways on Sheep Street and Silver Street in Wellingborough, thereby enabling social distancing.

On-street parking bays have been suspended so that people can walk where vehicles are normally parked.

Ramps have been provided to help people cross the kerbs, and barriers installed to protect them from the moving traffic.  ​

School street closure schemes – where cars are prevented from going near the school gates at drop off and pick up times – have been successfully trialled in towns and cities elsewhere in the UK. 

St Barnabas Church of England School in Wellingborough will be the first school in the area to take part in the scheme, which was installed for the start of the new September school term. The scheme is a temporary trial and will be reviewed regularly to determine if it should be a more permanent measure.

The 'school street' will be enforced Monday to Friday between 8am – 9:30am and 2:30pm – 3:30pm, using traffic signs and barriers at both ends of St Barnabas Street. The scheme will be overseen by staff from Northamptonshire Highways or the school and any non-compliance will be reported to the police.

Vehicles with blue badges and local residents with permits will be allowed to enter St Barnabas Street during the times of closure.

Further schemes will be added to this list as they are agreed.

Tranche 2 funding

The Department for Transport invited us to bid for further funding for permanent measures to promote active travel. They have made it clear that they will only fund areas which are ambitious in their plans and look to reallocate road space in urban areas to provide safer spaces for people who are cycling, i.e. physical segregation.

This meant that many scheme ideas which were being considered for this funding were not eligible. We have submitted a package of schemes which reflected their guidance, the technical work on Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans (which will be published for consultation shortly) and comments received from the Safer Streets consultation via Commonplace platform.  We also needed to be mindful of what could be committed for delivery by March 2021. 

The County Council was given an indicative allocation of £1.4m. However, the bidding process for the funding was not constrained to this amount, and to give us flexibility bids were submitted for the following schemes totalling £3.8m:

  • Billing Road Corridor, Northampton (£1.392m) – improved cycling facilities along Billing Road between York Road and Rushmere Road, light segregation provided on west/southbound cycle lane on Wellingborough Road (west of Church Way), Abington Park Crescent and Park Avenue South. (Following the strong opposition from local residents and businesses to the original proposal to convert Billing Road into a one-way road, we have contacted the Department for Transport to remove the proposal for a one-way system from our bid and will work with them to submit an alternative proposal that encourages cycling along Billing Road, Wellingborough Road, Abington Park Crescent and Park Avenue South.)
  • Cottingham Road, Corby (£1.110m) – provision of segregated cycle lanes in each direction on Cottingham Road between Abington Road and Westcott Way.
  • LCWIP ‘Quick Wins’ (£0.965m) – two new toucan crossings and shared use cycle/footpath on Kettering Road, Northampton between Spinney Hill Road and Highlands Avenue; new shared use path between St Peter’s Way and Bridge St in Northampton; new shared use path along Northampton Road and Wellingborough Road filling gap in existing provision between Rushden Lakes and Rushden town centre.
  • Monitoring, evaluation and discovery through harnessing digital technology (£0.375m) – four digital cycle counters including Billing Road, Cottingham Road and Rushmere Road; dashboard displays showing live cycle counts; digitisation of cycle information; data sharing and discovery agreement with University of Northampton.

We may not receive funding for all of these schemes and they will all be subject to consultation and scheme design, so some of the details may change.

Further details will appear here once available.