Closure of Weston Road for repair works on Monday 12th March

“Northamptonshire Highways” has informed the Parish Council that the Weston Road will be closed between 9.15 am and 3.30 pm on Monday 12th March so that “Category 2” repair works can be undertaken. The road will be closed between Points A and B on the map shown below:

Whilst Northamptonshire County Council remains the local highway authority, works such as those in Weston Road are undertaken on behalf of the Council by the private company KierWSP, known for this purpose as “Northamptonshire Highways” whose commitment is “to provide high quality, sustainable transport and highway services to the people of Northamptonshire”. On behalf of the Parish Council the Company was asked to explain 1) the nature of “Category 2” repairs and 2) whether the repairs would be in a specific location or whether an attempt was to be made to deal with the worst of the potholes (clearly a near impossible task in the time available). At the time of writing no reply had been received.

More photographs and a little of the history of the road can be seen in “read the rest of this entry”.


Long term residents of Sulgrave tend to call this minor road leading north from the village the “Moreton Road”. In the times before the word “road” came to mean a “hardened” or “metalled” surface, “road” meant the “way” or “route” between two places. Hence the “road” or “way” to Moreton Pinkney continued past point B on the map across the fields to that village, now being a little used footpath. It is also sometimes known as “the gated road” but in my 80 odd years of walking and cycling along it there have rarely been any gates. “Moreton Road” has evolved into “Weston Road” because it is now the standard way to drive to Weston. The original “Weston Road” was the Green Lane to Weston passing under the former Great Central Railway and Manor Road was described as “Weston Road” on W.A.S. Newton’s  photographs of the street taken in the 1890s.

Growing up in the village 75 years ago, I frequently heard the little bridge in the above photograph described as “The Ford” which it obviously once was (and to which it is seemingly about to revert!)

Villagers who use the road on foot, cycle or horseback (or perhaps foolishly in saloon cars) will know that the carriageway is totally deformed and there are dangerous potholes throughout its length:







This attractive little road was not always in such a dreadful condition. It may be of some interest to see a couple of family pictures taken along in the road in the 1960s:



It can be seen that apart from a slight camber from the centre, the road surface was flat and the verges had none of the minor “cliff edges” now seen everywhere on narrow roads. The few potholes which occurred were quickly dealt with by the two resident village road menders. Every five years or so the road received a new top dressing of tar and chippings rolled in by an ancient steam roller almost the width of the road, keeping the surface perfectly level. Between 1960 and 1990 I enjoyed cycling along this road on a regular basis, to and from work at Daventry. It was quite safe to descend the road at speed in darkness, with only the whirring of a small dynamo for company….

The near destruction of the road has come about partly through neglect but mainly because of its use by vehicles that have become heavier and heavier year by year. There being no proper foundation, the enormous tyres cause the carriageway to deform into a sort of “W” shape, the centre of which is then torn by the underside of the vehicles.

I await with some interest to see what miracles KierWSP can perform in 6 hours or so on Monday!

Colin Wootton


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