Calls for major improvements to A5 near Rugby as new DIRFT units approved

The A5 near the Lilbourne junction
The A5 near the Lilbourne junction
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Calls have been made for major safety improvements to the A5 by councillors.

Daventry District Council’s planning committee met on Wednesday evening last week to discuss two applications for new warehouse units at DIRFT.

The new units are the first to be considered for the DIRFT III expansion site.

Councillors agreed that the designs for the new buildings and the mitigating factors, including those for the nearby roads, were in line with the development consent order (DCO) issued by the Government for DIRFT III and approved both applications.

However, several councillors spoke about the problems of the A5, particularly between the M6 bridge and Kilsby.

Cllr Catherine Lomax told the meeting: “I feel that Highways England and the county council are not taking the enough interest in this road.

“There is plenty of land on both sides of the road for it to be made into a dual carriageway.

“That is what is being done up the road at Magna Park near Lutterworth where there are dual carriageways and roundabout junctions.

“The air quality also sometimes reaches the maximum levels allowable under law.

“I know these points are not material to these applications, but I will bring it up at any chance I get.”

There are plans under the DCO to provide new signage, clearer road markings and in places lower speed limits at the Lilbourne/Clifton upon Dunsmore crossroad on the A5, as well as the A5 Catthorpe junction and the Gibbet Roundabout, plus traffic calming measures in villages.

Cllr Alan Chantler said: “I’ve had several meetings with the parish councils in the area and we all feel frustrated.

“I asked Highways England how many people had to die on the A5 before they do something about it. They are still thinking about their answer.

“We had discussions with them about alternative plans for the Lilbourne junction but Highways England would not accept our proposals.”

Issues surrounding the A5 were considered by the Secretary of State said planning officers when deciding on the DCO. The Government took into account not only the DIRFT expansion, but also the planned urban extension of Rugby on the old radio mast site on the other side of the A5 at the same location.