Northampton bus station: Report blames roundabout for gridlock

Buses queue up near the bus station Problems in the centre of Northampton started from about 11:00 GMT on 3 March

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A mini-roundabout was to blame for traffic gridlock in Northampton on the day the £7m North Gate bus station opened, a report has found.

Problems started at about 11:00 GMT on Monday 3 March, with buses left at a standstill and queues of passengers.

Engineers removed the roundabout at the Bradshaw Street/College Street junction that evening.

The report by the two local councils said the risk of problems had not been recognised during the planning process.

At the time of the traffic problems, a joint statement from Northamptonshire County Council and Northampton Borough Council said: "We knew that there would be teething problems ... and we acknowledge that these were major."

Passenger queue up at the bus station in Northampton The traffic problems lead to a long queues of passengers at the £7m North Gate bus station

A review carried out by the councils' chief executives concluded that the mini-roundabout forced buses to give way to other traffic.

Northamptonshire County Council Chief Executive Dr Paul Blantern said: "It is regrettable that so much traffic congestion was caused on the first day when the bus station opened in March and I, along with my partners, have rightly apologised for the inconvenience that was caused for several hours."

David Mackintosh, leader of Northampton Borough Council, said: "We are more aware than ever of the need to ensure that we take into consideration the impact that the large number of major change and regeneration projects will have on traffic."

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