The closure to the Desborough bypass section of the A6 has been extended beyond the end of April as the damage is worse and repair work more complicated than initially thought. The A6 will be closed until the end of the summer school holidays.
Northamptonshire County Council will, today, trial re-opening the southbound lane of the A6 from Braybrooke Road to the A14 to relieve some of the traffic pressure in Desborough and Rothwell. We are aware of the effect that the closure has had on the local community and that is why we have decided to trial the opening up a section of the A6 in an attempt to alleviate some of the traffic pressure.
The A6 southbound opened this morning. We will be monitoring how this works and, if it has a significant negative impact, will have to close the section of the A6 again.
The main diversion route via the A14, the A43, A6003 and the A427 remains in place. This is very clearly signed and we are committed to encouraging vehicles not to use local roads as they are not suitable due to proximity to local communities and weight limits.
When Northamptonshire Highways close a road and put a diversion in place we must provide a diversion on a similar standard of road. Diversion routes are carefully chosen to follow roads of a suitable standard and width to carry all traffic and avoid weight restrictions.
The A6 is a busy road with a speed limit of 60mph and the approved diversion route uses similar grades of road. This provides a safe route for vehicles unfamiliar with the area and local traffic.
Extensive survey and investigation work has been carried out and repairs to the road where it joins the railway bridge are much more complicated than initially thought.
The works require significant collaboration and coordinated planning because of the proximity to the Midland Mainline and this process will take time to agree and put in place as we are working to minimise the impact.
The problems found on the carriageway leading on to the railway bridge are more severe than at the River Ise Bridge and there are logistical problems of carrying out repairs over a live railway line.
Because of these complications the work will not be completed until after the School Summer Holidays. The key priority is to repair and open the A6 as quickly as we are able to and every effort is being made to achieve this.
Northamptonshire County Council are committed to opening the A6 and funding is available for the repairs.The county council is working with all associated parties and identifying any funding available nationally for unusual situations such as this.
We would like to thank people and businesses in the local communities for their patience while this situation continues and apologise for the inconvenience this is causing.