Cold Ashby is a tiny village made up of only a few residential streets the main three being: West Haddon Road, Main Street and Naseby Road (on the map Naseby Rd isn’t called Naseby Rd but as it's the road going to Naseby and because it's known locally as the Naseby Rd we’ll call it the Naseby Rd!) and these form the primary routes through village.
In 1992 the road was reclassified to a “C” Road which means its intended use is primarily for local traffic to get to and from other more highly classified roads and onto their ultimate destination.
Just for information, there are approximately 250 people living in the Parish and we are surrounded by similar sized villages so quite clearly if the road was being used for its intended use, only light traffic would ever be experienced.
The pictures above show what occurs in Cold Ashby at peak times: this is clearly not local traffic!
In the week, we experience high volumes of commuter traffic. It used to be mainly at rush hour, but this now starts earlier and finishes later and traffic is becoming more consistent all through the day.
At the weekend we experience a lot of general through traffic (to and from the A14, often on its way to the M1. These are motorists that assumed the A14 would take them to the M1 south only to find that their sat-nav has taken them off the A14 and through Cold Ashby leaving them bewildered and asking a local for confirmation that they are on the right route ("am I going the right way to London?" is the usual question).
We also experience a lot of leisure drivers; drivers that are just having a tootle round in the nice countryside or motorcyclists (these are generally not tootling; they are often in groups and generally very noisy)!
The bottom line is that this all adds up to 35,000 vehicles a week (updated from 20,000 in December 2017!) using a road that's intended only for local traffic! If this volume of traffic was spread out equally across the week it would be bad enough but please bear in mind that in excess of 50% of this traffic is recorded (according to our own data) during the morning and evening rush hours when school buses are also doing pick ups and drop offs
Unfortunately there is no easy fix to this problem. Quite clearly drivers want to travel East-West and West-East for all the reasons we’ve covered in previous pages and currently there isn’t a simple route for them to do that. They either do what was originally planned and follow the detour up and down the M6 or they have to travel through the bottle neck which is Cold Ashby on entirely unsuitable roads.
We have included some maps below showing i) what the planners intended you to do and ii) what is obviously the sensible choice and the choice your sat-nav is going to take.
Although these maps only show a route from the A14 to DIRFT this effectively covers most of the problem as whether you want to go to DIRFT, the M1 or South East Rugby and Houlton, this is your route. You either follow the M6 which takes longer and covers 18 miles or go through Cold Ashby which on the face of it takes less time and covers only 10 miles!
So what should be done?
The obvious answer is that Cold Ashby has a bypass or relief road. This would speed up everyone’s journeys, allow HGV vehicles a far simpler and economic route through to DIRFT, would negate the need (for the time being at least!) to do any further works to the Catthorpe junction (the junction between the A14/M6/M1) and would mean that the road running through Cold Ashby would finally become a proper “C” Road being used by local people, which is after all its intended use.
How your SAT-NAV takes you to DIRFT the M1 South or South East Rugby from the A14...