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The Rushden Echo and Argus, 16th October, 1953, transcribed by Gill Hollis
Rushden Urban District Council

Rushden’s Traffic Problems
Solution nearer? - Council views vary

After further observations by the urban council on the need for traffic lights at the junction of Church Street and High Street, and for an improvement at the junction of Church Street and Duck Street with Wellingborough Road, the County Council has announced its intention of reconsidering the whole question of traffic arrangements in Rushden.

The letter stated that they had instructed the County Surveyor to consult the Ministry of Transport in the matter.

The chairman of the committee (Mr. R. H. Greenwood) said the letter had given them “great hopes.” Other councillors were more despondent.

Mr. R. R. Griffiths said that after another 18 months they had only reached the stage when “great hopes” could be held out in respect of the Church Street-High Street traffic lights. They were being fobbed-off with milk and water answers.

It was not good enough that outside officials should tell them what had to be done or that their clerk should have to request that this council be consulted before any conclusions were reached.

Mr. W. E. Capon: “Every 25 years we hear a speech like that.” (Laughter.)

Mr. Griffiths: Those remarks by Mr. Capon do not deserve the credit they have received.

Mr. A. Green said it was worse than vexatious that they were constantly “drilled” by Road Safety Committees etc., and after 18 months found nothing done in the way of traffic lights or no-waiting signs.

Whose job?

Mr. Griffiths also raised a point about parking – “whose responsibility is it to see about the private cars parked in these no-waiting streets?” There were cries of “the police,” to which he retorted: “Then it is the duty of this council to point out that this is not being done.”

In view of the proposal, consideration is to be deferred of the suggestion to provide a mirror at the junction of Wellingborough Road and Duck Street.

Mr. F. E. Brown accused their Health Committee of being “penny wise and pound foolish” in taking 15 samples of ice-cream and two of iced lollipops and then not seeing they got to Northampton for testing. Owing to a “mistake” on the part of the local bus company nine were not delivered in time.

One of the iced lollipops proved unsatisfactory and in reply to questions by Mr. J. E. Wills, the Sanitary Inspector (Mr. Humphrey Ellis) said it was unsatisfactory from the bacteriological point of view. It would not have killed anyone. Unless so directed by the committee he did not propose to test for metallic contamination which would cost six guineas a time.

Mr. R. H. Greenwood termed it “an absolute waste of money” to spend £40 on a plaque commemorating the restoration of Rushden Hall “I suggest it also incorporates a crest – a white elephant,” he commented.

The surveyor submitted schemes for the making up of parts of Allen Road, Blinco Road and Lawton Road under the Private Street Works Act, at a respective cost of £4,017, £4,509 and £1,794. These were approved.

Fuel Office plea

The Finance and General Purposes Committee protested at the proposal by the Ministry of Fuel and Power that the Rushden office should be merged – together with Irthlingborough and Raunds – with the Wellingborough office at a net saving of £425 per year.

The office also serves Higham Ferrers and the committee feels much of the work is done by personal calls and there would be inconvenience and delay to the public.

The clerk has been asked to arrange for a meeting with an officer of the Ministry to see if economies can be effected without complete withdrawal of local facilities.

As the result of a disagreement with the East Midlands Gas Board over the cost of street lighting by gas, the charges from September, 1952 until the termination of the agreement in August, 1954, will be reduced by £200 per annum.

The Minister of Transport has approved the proposals for the provision of a car park in Duck Street and recommended the issue of the necessary loan sanction.

The Finance and General Purposes Committee recommended the county council be asked to furnish all available information regarding the proposed transfer of population and industry from London to this district, so that the matter could be considered by the council.

The National Playing Fields Association has confirmed the provisional grants of £35 towards each of six schemes for providing children’s playground equipment.



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