A45/A6 Chowns Mill Roundabout Improvement

We plan to improve the roundabout to address the existing congestion and safety issues while also providing future capacity to support planned growth in the local area.

Start date Main works: February 2020
End date Winter 2021/2022
Cost £24 million

Latest updates

  • 22 July 2021

    Upcoming closures

    As part of the A45/A6 Chowns Mill junction improvement work, we’ll need to use 3 weekend closures of the junction across July, August and September. This is so we can install new traffic signals and lighting, and carry out resurfacing. The closures are required for the safety of our workers and road users while we carry out this work.

    To reduce disruption during the weekends, we will only close half of the junction at a time. These will be on the following dates:

    8pm Friday 30 July to 5am Monday 2 August

    • A45 Chowns Mill South half of the roundabout closed
    • A45 Westbound closed from Stanwick Lakes roundabout to Rushden Lakes roundabout
    • A6 Northbound & Southbound closed between Chowns Mill roundabout and Kimbolton Road roundabout
    • Station Road (A5028) Higham Ferrers closed at roundabout

     8pm Friday 20 August to 5am Monday 23 August

    • A45 Chowns Mill North half of roundabout closed
    • Full closure A45 Eastbound closed from Rushden Lakes roundabout to Stanwick Lakes roundabout
    • A6 Closed between Chowns Mill roundabout & Nene Park roundabout Irthlingborough

    8pm Friday 3 September to 5am Monday 6 September

    • A45 Chowns Mill South half of the roundabout closed
    • A45 Westbound closed from Stanwick Lakes roundabout to Rushden Lakes roundabout
    • A6 Northbound & Southbound closed between Chowns Mill roundabout and Kimbolton Road roundabout
    • Station Road (A5028) Higham Ferrers closed at roundabout

    We’ll also be using overnight closures of the junction during the weekdays between now and the end of August. These closures will be in place between 8pm and 5am and the full programme can be found below.

    Our planned closures may be subject to change due to weather conditions or unforeseen circumstances. We’ll update our webpage if there are any changes to the schedule. 

    There is likely to be some congestion during the closures and we would advise people to allow extra time for journeys and avoid the junction if possible. We would also encourage people to stick to the signed diversion routes.

    We’re currently on track to open the improved ‘half hamburger’ junction during September.

    Overnight closures:

    Monday 19 July to Friday 23 July 8pm to 5am:

    • A45 Chowns Mill South half of the roundabout closed
    • A45 Westbound closed from Stanwick Lakes roundabout to Rushden Lakes roundabout
    • A6 Northbound & Southbound closed between Chowns Mill roundabout and roundabout Kimbolton Road roundabout  
    • Station Road (A5028) Higham Ferrers closed at roundabout

    Monday 26 July to Thursday 29 July 8pm to 5am:

    • A45 Chowns Mill North half of roundabout closed
    • Full closure A45 Eastbound closed from Rushden Lakes roundabout to Stanwick Lakes roundabout
    • A6 Closed between Chowns Mill roundabout and Nene Park roundabout Irthlingborough

    Monday 2 August to Friday 6 August 8pm to 5am:

    • A45 Chowns Mill North half of roundabout closed
    • Full closure A45 Eastbound closed from Rushden Lakes roundabout to Stanwick Lakes roundabout
    • A6 Closed between Chowns Mill roundabout and Nene Park roundabout Irthlingborough

    Monday 9 August to Friday 13 August 8pm to 5am:

    • A45 Chowns Mill North half of roundabout closed
    • Full closure A45 Eastbound closed from Rushden Lakes roundabout to Stanwick Lakes roundabout
    • A6 Closed between Chowns Mill RBT & Nene Park RBT Irthlingborough

    Monday 16 August to Thursday 19 August 8pm to 5am:

    • Details of closures to be confirmed

  • 15 June 2021

    Superspan gantries

    During next week, we'll install three superspan gantries across the roundabout. The gantries will span the eastbound and westbound carriageways of the A45 at Chowns Mill junction. The third will stretch across the A6 southbound approach

    The gantries weigh up to 25 tonnes each with a width of around 40m. We'll fit signs to the gantries, which will help traffic flow more smoothly and provide important information for drivers.

    To put the gantries in safely, we'll need some overnight closures from Monday 21 to Friday 25 June. The closures will all take place between 8pm and 5am and are as follows:

    Monday 21 June

    • A45 eastbound and westbound full closure between Rushden Lakes roundabout and Chowns Mill roundabout.
    • A5028 Station Road, Higham Ferrers, full closure northbound and southbound between Nightingale Way and Chowns Mill roundabout.

    Tuesday 22 June

    • A6 northbound and southbound full closure between Chowns Mill roundabout and Nene Park (Irthlingborough) roundabout.
    • A5028 Station Road, Higham Ferrers, full closure northbound and southbound between Nightingale Way and Chowns Mill roundabout.

    Wednesday 23 June

    • A45 eastbound and westbound full closure between Stanwick Lakes roundabout and Chowns Mill roundabout.
    • A5028 Station Road, Higham Ferrers, full closure northbound and southbound between Nightingale Way and Chowns Mill roundabout.

    Thursday 24 June

    • A5028 Station Road, Higham Ferrers, full closure northbound and southbound between Nightingale Way and Chowns Mill roundabout.

    Friday 25 June:

    • A5028 Station Road, Higham Ferrers, full closure northbound and southbound between Nightingale Way and Chowns Mill roundabout.

    We'll have clearly signed diversion routes in place during the closures.

  • 07 May 2021

    Latest update

    Following good progress, we’ve re-opened Station Road (A5028) Higham Ferrers. We’ve also returned the junction to two-lane running around the roundabout.

    While this has improved the overall traffic flow around the junction and significantly reduced peak-time queuing, we’re aware that it's also highlighted the pre-existing issues with the old junction.

    Safety is our number one priority and we’ve been listening to customer concerns. As a result, we’re introducing a number of temporary measures to address them. We’ll keep these measures under review over the next few weeks.

    During May, you’ll see us continuing to work behind the concrete barriers. We’ll also complete work to the A6 approach, on the North side of the roundabout as well as the new pedestrian ramp.

    We’ll carry on with drainage and verge work. To carry out this work safely, we’ll need to close the A6 between Chowns Mill and Nene Park. The closures will take place as follows:

    • Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 May - A6 between Chowns Mill Roundabout and Nene Park, Irthlingborough closed from 7am to 7pm.
    • Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 June - A6 between Chowns Mill Roundabout and Nene Park, Irthlingborough closed from 7am to 7pm.

  • 07 April 2021

    Weekend closure - Friday 9 April to Monday 12 April

    To safely complete the surfacing of the roundabout, we need to close it and the roads approaching it this weekend. The closure will take place at the following times:

    • 8pm Friday 9 April to 5am Monday 12 April 

    During the closure, we’ll put signed diversion routes in place using alternative A-roads to take traffic away from local villages. We encourage all road users to stick to these diversion routes. We expect that there may be an increase in traffic on the surrounding local roads.

    Ditchford Lane and the surrounding villages of Chelveston, Rushden, Higham Ferrers and Irthlingborough may experience delays. If you need to make an essential journey this weekend, please plan ahead and allow more time.

  • 12 March 2021

    This weekend’s closure (12 March to 15 March 2021) is cancelled

    We’ve cancelled this weekend’s planned closure of the A45 / A6 Chowns Mill junction. This is because of the adverse weather and high winds forecasted this weekend.

    We appreciate that this is very short notice. We've decided to postpone the work for the safety of staff and the travelling public.

    We’ll still carry out resurfacing work on Nightingale Way (Station Road A5028), Higham Ferrers. This will take place between 9pm and 5am tonight.

    We apologise for any inconvenience caused. The junction will be open this weekend, with one lane open around the roundabout and approaches. If you need to make an essential journey this weekend, please allow extra time especially during peak times.

    We’ll let you know when the re-scheduled Chowns Mill surfacing work will take place.

  • 26 February 2021

    Weekend closure - Friday 26 February to Monday 1 March

    To safely complete the surfacing of the roundabout, we need to entirely close it and the roads approaching it this weekend. The closures will take place at the following times:

    8pm Friday 26 February to 5am Monday 1 March

    We appreciate that closures of this scale can be a source of frustration. We’ve carefully weighed up the impact of closing the road against the benefit of reducing overall disruption to the network.

    While we recognise that there’s never a good time to close such an important roundabout, we’re hoping to minimise the impact of this work by taking advantage of the lower traffic levels during the lockdown.

    During the closure, we’ll put signed diversion routes in place using alternative A-roads to take traffic away from local villages. While we encourage all road users to stick to these diversion routes, which we’ve agreed with the Local Authority we expect that there may be an increase in traffic on the surrounding local roads.

    Ditchford Lane and the surrounding villages of Chelveston, Rushden, Higham Ferrers and Irthlingborough may experience delays. If you do need to make an essential journey during this weekend, please plan ahead and allow more time for your journey.

  • 19 February 2021

    Weekend closure postponed (19 February to 22 February 2021)

    Due to unforeseen circumstances, we’ve postponed this weekend’s full closure of the A45/A6 Chowns Mill roundabout.

    Next weekend’s closures will still go ahead as planned. We’ll fully close the A45/A6 Chowns Mill roundabout on the weekend of 12 to 14 March to complete the resurfacing work.

    We appreciate that cancelling work at short notice can be a source of frustration. We only do this if it is absolutely necessary to do so. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

    Here is a revised and updated road closure schedule:

     Date Closure details  Times 
    Fri 26 February to Mon 1 March

    Entire A45 / A6 roundabout closed for weekend:

    A45 Eastbound and Westbound A6 North and South closed for full weekend
    8pm Fri to 5am Mon
    Fri 05 to Mon 08 March Full weekend closure of A6 Northbound and Southbound Chowns Mill roundabout to Nene Park roundabout. 8pm Fri to 5am Mon
    Wed 10 March A45 Westbound closed Stanwick Lakes roundabout to Rushden Lakes roundabout and A6 Northbound and Southbound closed Chowns Mill roundabout to Kimbolton road roundabout 8pm to 6am

    Thurs 11

    March
    A45 Westbound closed Stanwick Lakes roundabout to Rushden Lakes roundabout and A6 Northbound and Southbound closed Chowns Mill roundabout to Kimbolton road roundabout

    8pm to 6am

    Fri 12 to

    Mon 15 March

    Entire A45 / A6 Roundabout closed for weekend:

     

    A45 Eastbound and Westbound A6 North and South closed for full weekend
    8pm Fri to 5am Mon

  • 16 February 2021

    Station Road (A5028) Higham Ferrers

    We’re working hard to complete the A45 Chowns Mill Improvement work. Work is progressing well and we remain on track to finish by Winter 2021/2022.

    Unfortunately, we need to delay the re-opening of Station Road (A5028) to late-April 2021. We recognise that this may be frustrating, we assure you that we’re working hard to complete the work as fast as we can. There are a number of reasons for the delay, including disruption to the supply of materials and resources due to Covid. The recent bad weather has also affected the amount of construction activities we’re able to complete.

    We’ve listened to your concerns to reduce noise, light pollution and other disruption. We’ve limited the amount overnight work we’ve carried out. This has allowed us to work in other areas. We've taken advantage of lower traffic levels during lockdown, by putting day time lane closures in place. This has resulted in us bringing forward other work scheduled for later in the year.

    Please note, we’re aware of the emergency College Street closure in Higham Ferrers. We’re working with Higham Ferrers Town Council to reduce any disruption to road users, wherever we can. 

  • 15 February 2021

    Weekend closures

    To safely complete the surfacing of the roundabout, we need to entirely close it and the roads approaching it for two weekends. The closures will take place on the following dates and times:

    • 8pm Friday 19 February to 5am Monday 22 February
    • 8pm Friday 26 February to 5am Monday 1 March

    We appreciate that closures of this scale can be a source of frustration. We’ve carefully weighed up the impact of closing the road against the benefit of reducing overall disruption to the network.

    While we recognise that there’s never a good time to close such an important roundabout, we’re hoping to minimise the impact of this work by taking advantage of the lower traffic levels during the lockdown. By closing the roundabout for two weekends we can carry out the work faster than if we had a series of road closures over several weekends or nights.

    During the closures, we’ll put signed diversion routes in place using alternative A-roads to take traffic away from local villages. While we encourage all road users to stick to these diversion routes, which we’ve agreed with the Local Authority we expect that there may be an increase in traffic on the surrounding local roads. Ditchford Lane and the surrounding villages of Chelveston, Rushden, Higham Ferrers and Irthlingborough may experience delays. If you do need to make an essential journey during either of these weekends, please plan ahead and allow more time for your journey.

  • 04 February 2021

    Mallows Cotton tree planting

    We’re committed to carrying out environmental improvements as part of the scheme. We recognise the importance of being a good neighbour and protecting and enhancing the environment. We take our environmental responsibilities very seriously and are one of the largest tree planting organisations in the UK.

    We recently planted more than 300 trees, including eight oaks and provided new bird and bat boxes on Mallows Cotton, a patch of local land off the A45 between Stanwick and Raunds.

    We also built several shelters for insects, reptiles and small animals as part of the environmental work.

    We also gave 10 trees to a pocket park in the nearby village of Stanwick after a number had died over the last couple of years.

    Volunteers from the Stanwick Environmental Project who look after the park and keep the village blooming, approached us to see if we could help replace the trees that have died. Our contractor, Roocroft Road Restraint Systems agreed to fund 10 new trees, including birch, beech and mountain ash, at the Raunds Road park. They were planted just before Christmas.

    Saplings at Mallows Cotton

    Some of the saplings that we’ve planted at Mallows Cotton

  • 14 January 2021

    Lanes reduction will reduce overnight closures

    As there are fewer vehicles on the road, we’ve reduced the lanes around the roundabout and on all the roads that approach it. From Wednesday 13 January 2021, the roundabout and the approach roads only have one lane open.

    We'll need fewer overnight closures as the single lanes create more room for us to work in either side of the carriageway. Previously, we would need to close one or both lanes to carry out work.

    Please be assured that all our sites have strict safeguarding measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and none are open to the public.

    To receive text alerts about future A45 Chowns Mill road closures, please text A45CM to 07537 439499. Messages will be charged at your standard network text message rate. To unsubscribe, please text A45CM STOP to the same number.

  • 21 December 2020

    Work to stop for Christmas period

    During November and early December, we’ve made good progress and put down the first layers of Tarmac to the new carriageway on Station Road (A5028), Higham Ferrers and the A45 westbound.

    We’ll be shutting the site from 23 December to 4 Jan for the Christmas period. Over the next few days, we’ll be making the site safe for the Christmas close. We will still have a Traffic Management presence on site. Over the next week and early in the New Year, we’ll be using a piling rig to bore holes around the junction to support the information gantries. 

    Throughout the junction, you may have noticed raised ‘platforms’. These are where the foundation for the gantries will be placed. The piling rig will bore holes of up to 10 metres deep to support the gantry signs.

    Progress images

    Aerial view – December 2020

    Progress

  • 25 September 2020

    Station Road (A5028) Higham Ferrers

    We’re making good progress and have completed the first phase of work. We remain on track to complete the scheme in late 2021, early 2022.

    We were planning to partially open Station Road (A5028) Higham Ferrers to road users in November 2020. However, we’ve decided to postpone the re-opening of Station Road till February 2021. This is due to the shortage and supply of materials during Covid-19 and  the impact of other utility work beyond our control.

    Image showing an aerial view of Chowns Mill junction

    Safety is our  top priority and we’ve decided that it will be safer to open the road completely rather than open part of it. We would like to apologise for the delay in the re-opening of Station Road. Thank you for your ongoing patience while we carry out this important work.

    Please be assured that we’ll be working quickly to open Station Road as soon as possible. Over the next four weeks, we’ll be working longer days near Station Road (A5028).

    You’ll  notice some visual changes taking place around the junction as we start work to create the outline of the new running lanes and kerbs around the junction, particularly on Station Road (A5028, Higham Ferrers) and at Chowns Mill Business Park. These give an outline of how the new junction will look and feel and how the improvements will make the junction safer, especially for pedestrians and cyclists.

  • 17 July 2020

    Old Station Road (A6)

    We’ve received several complaints from customers about people bypassing queues on the A6 Bridge (Southbound) and using Old Station Road as a short cut to join the queue nearer to Chowns Mill. The residents and businesses along Old Station Road have reported incidents of speeding and inconsiderate driving.

    We’ve worked with our colleagues in Northamptonshire County Council to ensure that Old Station Road will no longer be available as a through route. We’ll put concrete barriers mid-way on the Old Station Road bridge, which will still allow cycle and pedestrian access. Access to the businesses at the lower end of Old Station Road will be off roundabout, past Irthlingborough. Access to the scrap yard, will be from the slip road opposite the Old Mill Interiors.

    To make sure we can keep our roads in the East Midlands in tip-top condition, we’re running an online trial until October this year. If you spot something wrong with our roads, please let us know. This could be anything from a broken sign or barrier, to litter, overgrown vegetation or potholes. To report any issues, please visit our report a problem webpage.

  • Narrow lanes in place

    Despite several Covid-19 challenges, we’ve now completed the first phase of the work.

    We’ve put narrow lanes in place on the A45 dual carriageway to keep two lanes of traffic moving. Narrow lanes have been established on the A45 dual carriageway to keep two lanes of traffic moving.

    The narrow lanes also create the space for us to safely carry out more major construction works during the day and reduce the number of road closures needed, minimising disruption to road users and residents. We may still need to carry out some occasional overnight work and will notify you of this in advance.

    During the next phase of work, we'll carry out most of the work during the day. We will keep two lanes open.

    We will be looking to complete the road formation works on the south side of the roundabout (A5028 Station Road) including the first stages of the surfacing in this location. This will help improve access to continue with drainage and earthworks.

    We will also begin to install new street lighting and traffic signal infrastructure.

Project information

Overview

At Chowns Mill Roundabout, the A45 is crossed by the A6. The roundabout provides access into Higham Ferrers and Rushden. The high volume of turning movements combined with a lack of space on the roundabout, result in severe congestion on the approaches at peak times. This results in frequent collisions.

We’re improving the existing roundabout, which will include widening the A45 and A6 approaches to provide additional traffic lanes, creating an additional roundabout section on the south side of the existing roundabout, and introducing traffic signals to manage traffic safely and effectively.

The roundabout will be redesigned as a ‘half-hamburger’ layout with a new link road connecting the A6 North and A5028 with the existing roundabout. This will improve the existing junction to allow better flow of traffic, reducing congestion through the junction.

The aims of this scheme are to: 

  • alleviate existing congestion 
  • improve safety 
  • provide better pedestrian facilities at the junction while minimising effects on the local environment and community 

All approaches to the junction will be widened to provide extra lanes and increase capacity for traffic travelling through the junction. Partial signalisation of the junction will ensure better management of traffic, reducing turning conflicts, improving safety, and increasing capacity  

New signalled crossings will be built to make it safer for cyclists and pedestrians to cross the junction. All crossing points will be designed for users with disabilities. 

If you have any questions about this work, please contact our Public Liaison Officer, Paul Valentine, as follows:

To make sure we can keep our roads in the East Mids in tip-top condition, we’re running an online trial until October this year. If you spot something wrong with our roads, please let us know. This could be anything from a broken sign or barrier, to litter, overgrown vegetation or potholes. To report any issues, please visit our report a problem webpage.

Documents

Traffic information

Information about scheduled roadworks and events on our motorways and major roads.

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