Motorists have heavily criticised ‘horrendous’ and ‘ridiculous’ major road closures in Northampton town centre over the weekend.
On Sunday morning (September 17), the inaugural ‘Amazing Northampton Run’, formerly the Northampton Half Marathon, took runners on a 13.1mile tour through the town on Sunday morning (September 17).
However, many of the town’s main artery roads were closed by West Northants Council (WNC) and the organisers between 8.30am and 1pm, which unsurprisingly caused traffic chaos in the area.
Chron and Echo readers shared their ‘horrendous’ and ‘miserable’ experiences on social media.
Shelley Beddoe said: “Great event, however, the roads were horrendous. It took me over an hour to get from Duston to Northampton General Hospital. Roads were grid locked. More thought required on the route next time please. I’m pleased the event was a success but again I think more thought could be given when planning. Emergency vehicles were having difficulty getting through too.”
Rachael Ball said: “So badly organised. Roads were closed and not a runner in sight. Had a massive effect on the rocking roadrunner festival that had been on the same weekend for many years which really wasn't fair.”
Nathalie Tamagni said: “Absolute misery for those who needed to get into town. Took an hour instead of 10 minutes due to all the road closures. God forbid anyone needing to get somewhere in an emergency.”
Cath Windus said: “I have been looking all week to try to work out how my daughter can get to work in town at 10am on Sunday and the information has been very poor. We thought we had a route, but she has just ended up driving round the town and been told that there is no way to get to any car parks in town.”
Claire Wallace-Sims said: “Absolute farce. The third time this year we've had swathes of main artery roads closed. If the council thinks this is good for the town, think again. Gridlocked roads, trapped residents, massive pollution, and an inability to work, shop, see friends and just go unimpeded about our business.”
Despite closing off the town’s main roads for around five hours, WNC said that it was in fact an accident on the M1 which caused ‘unforeseen traffic through the area’.
A council spokeswoman said: “We are committed to working with event organisers to deliver wellbeing events for the local community. Where possible we will mitigate the impact on road users to ensure the event can take place, and cause minimum disruption. There was an accident on the M1 which diverted traffic through the town during the time of the event, causing unforeseen traffic through the area.”
Asked if WNC will take the feedback on board for next year’s event, the spokeswoman said: “We will continue to work with event organisers for future events to consider how best to reduce the impact any necessary road closures have on the community.”