|Transcribed by Gill and Jim Hollis
Rushden Urban District Council
|The Rushden Echo, 1st June 1962
Ministry A6 plan may end Rushden’s
Plans for a “new look” trunk road on the south side of Rushden have become even more apparent following a hint of a scheme for removing the main causes of the sixty-yard “bottleneck” between Little Street and Harborough Road.
The Urban Council has been told by the Ministry of Transport that a major improvement of the A6 trunk road, affecting the frontages of certain property is under consideration for 1964-65.
The properties are Nos. 114-118 High Street South, which includes the bakery and confectioner’s business of Mr. George Harris, and Nos. 130-138 High Street South.
The council has decided that if these buildings are acquired for highway improvement purposes it would be willing to assist in rehousing the occupants.
Added to schemes for improving the A6 outside the Hall Grounds and at the junction of High Street South and Skinners Hill, this latest proposal, if effected, should mean that the passage of traffic approaching the town from the south will be considerably eased.
Of the overall plan, Mr. Cyril Freeman, new chairman of the council, told the “Echo”: “It must help the traffic tremendously.”
Mr. R. N. Sanders, the county surveyor, said that ultimately it was hoped that the Ministry would agree to extend still further the plans for improving the trunk road. There were always likely to be delays, however, because of the difficulties of acquiring properties and finding the necessary money.
The council has already agreed to surrender part of The Green at Skinners Hill, and 305 square yards of land at the Hall grounds for road improvement purposes.
Improvements at both these sections of the A6 are likely to be carried out within the next year, Mr. Sanders said.
Road widening at the Hall grounds is likely to include the provision of a new wall, railings and lawns at the park entrance, and at Skinners Hill, the turning from St. Mary’s church will be less steep and much more negotiable.
The latest proposal is not viewed very favourably by Mr. Harris who re-organised his business at a cost of £3,000 only five years ago.
He wonders why the authorities do not include his stretch of the A6 in a one-way system with Little Street, which is already one-way. Opposite his shop there is a ready-made space for a bus lay-by, he claims and in any case, business for him has never been so good.
On the other hand Mr. and Mrs. D. Thompson and family, 130 High Street South are saying of the proposal “and about time too.”
They claim that their house shudders when heavy night transporters brake for the blind bend immediately outside.
“Still,” Mr. Thompson said “you get immune to it after a time. We have been here 12 years.”
Rushden Urban Council is urging the county surveyor to take steps to provide traffic lights at the junction of Rectory Road and Newton Road as soon as possible.
Last week the new chairman, Mr. Cyril Freeman, said he thought traffic would be assisted at the junction if, until the lights were installed, a bollard or a white line was placed in Rectory Road to keep traffic about to turn into Newton Road over to the left.
On the High Street waiting problem Mr. Freeman said that he was looking forward to the time when the Ministry would de-trunk the main street, so that the problem could be sorted out.
The council is also seeking the removal of the obsolete traffic lights at the junction of High Street and Newton Road.
A thorny problem of rent arrears
Rent arrears, it seems, are rather a thorny problem at meetings of Rushden Urban Council recently.
On February 1, the arrears stood at £602, and at the subsequent council meeting Mr. R. R. Griffiths tackled the Housing Committee on the fact that they had increased by 27 per cent since the meeting before.
On March 1, the arrears stood at £699, but by March 28 after the committee instructed the treasurer to endeavour to clear the arrears before the end of the financial year, they were down to a mere £50.
It was at the council meeting on March 28 that the committee chairman, Mrs. A. U. Muxlow, said: “It means that some people are just not bothering.”
At the April meeting the minutes contained confirmation of Mrs. Muxlow’s welcome news. Then at the meeting last week and the news that the latest arrears figure was £739.
The treasurer informed the council that “this exceptionally high figure” was due to the disturbance of normal collection arrangements resulting from the Easter holidays.
Mrs. Muxlow is hoping to give the council better news at the next meeting.