Work to build a new £4million link road in Leicester city centre has started this week.
The new route will connect Belgrave Gate with Mansfield Street and provide a quick route out of the city centre for buses leaving the Haymarket bus station.
It will also provide an improved pedestrian link between the Haymarket bus station and the St Margaret’s bus station.
Work began on the site yesterday (11 November) and involved a team from the University of Leicester Archaeological Services (ULAS).
The archaeologists will excavate a trench on the site, before construction of the road begins.
Once construction gets under way, it will take around eight months to build the new road which, in a nod to local history, will be called Savoy Street – named after the art deco cinema that opened on Belgrave Gate in 1937.
Later known as the ABC, the cinema was demolished in 2007.
City Mayor Peter Soulsby said: “This new road will improve bus journey times for passengers, but it also paves the way for the regeneration of a high-profile part of the city centre that clearly needs investment.”
“By re-routing buses onto Savoy Street, we will be able to remove traffic from the Clock Tower area and create a safer – and much more attractive – environment for pedestrians and cyclists.”
“This investment in the area will also provide a boost to businesses on Belgrave Gate and Church Gate, which will benefit from greater footfall and a much improved street environment.”
As part of the £4million scheme, both Mansfield Street and Sandacre Street will be reconstructed and upgraded.
The Belgrave Gate and Mansfield Street link road and improvement scheme is supported by the Government’s Local Growth Fund through the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership Limited (LLEP).