An A6003 bypass around Caldecott in Rutland has been campaigned for since the 1960s. The village obtained funding for the bypass in 2007 but funding fell through due to the financial crisis.
Caldecott Parish Council, together with residents (91% in the 2018 petition) and nearby Parish Councils believe a bypass is an essential part of a plan that considers residents, the local area and impending housing developments.
Caldecott Needs a Bypass
In response to the Rutland County Council “Moving Rutland Forward” Local Transport Plan 2018 -2036 consultation, Caldecott Parish Council submitted a detailed response and petition. The response requested that the priority of a bypass was raised and commitment to a feasibility study included (which would provide information on a potential route and costs).
Support and petition
The petition was signed by 91% Caldecott residents and supported with letters from nearby Parish Councils including Great Easton, Hallaton, Middleton, Gretton, Seaton, Thorpe-by-Water, Horninghold, Stoke Dry and Rockingham.
The Rutland County Council Transport Plan
Rutland County Council supported our submission in the local media and included the following paragraph in the next “Moving Rutland Forward” Local Transport Plan 2018 -2036, however a time frame was not included:
“There is a long and well documented history of a demand for a bypass for Caldecott, and RCC has previously successfully submitted its case and had funding allocated for such a project. Whilst the previous scheme was shelved as a consequence of the 2007/8 financial crisis, the situation needs to be reviewed in the face of exacerbating factors such as further increases in average annual daily volumes as measured by the Department for Transport, the considerable planned expansion of Corby, and the growth of Rutland’s tourism industry. We will commit to re-establishing the case for a relief road against set national standards and to seek the funds to undertake a feasibility study.”
The developments in West Corby needs to be planned for, with supporting road developments. The area lies close to the Rutland border and is directly accessed to and from Rutland via the A6003. The present road would not support the increase in traffic to ensure easy access to and from the county. A bypass would provide a much needed solution to present issues as well as those anticipated in the near future.
The north-south routing of the A6003 through the heart of Rutland means it has become the route of choice/necessity for a significant number of HGVs. They present a particular problem due to their size, as they cannot pass at points in the village. They pose safety hazards to other vehicles and pedestrians as well as adversely impacting the village environment. In the case of road closure or congestion, HGVs do not have an obvious alternative back-road route. A bypass would provide a road much better suited to HGVs, reduce journey times, improve safety and quality of life.
Improved quality of life
A bypass would provide an improvement on the present and projected situation to ensure residents have good quality of life, health and wellbeing – a clear agenda set out in the Rutland County Council transport plan.
An investment in tourism and the economy
Caldecott forms the southern gateway to Rutland and a northern gateway to Northamptonshire. Presently visitors to both counties are greeted by traffic lights, queues and HGVs at the blind bends. Despite the beautiful surrounding countryside, this is not a good first impression. A bypass would provide a smoother more welcoming journey into both counties, benefitting the economy and supporting tourism objectives.
Traffic flow and congestion has a knock on effect for nearby villages. Official figures indicate the development in Corby will create a huge increase in the number of road users travelling on the A6003. A congested main road and tailbacks at the one-way traffic lights will mean more frustrated drivers taking short-cuts through nearby villages such as Lyddington, Great Easton, Hallaton, Medbourne, Drayton, Horninghold, Cottingham, Middleton and Gretton to get to and from Corby/Kettering/Harborough to the A47/Rutland and Stamford directions. It also means residents of nearby villages will find it harder to travel around themselves. A Caldecott bypass would be no significantly closer to other villages than at present; the benefits would only be positive.