New expressway in Leicestershire could ‘devastate’ countryside

Concern is growing across Leicestershire about proposals for an A46 expressway in the county.

The plans would see the new expressway running round the eastern and southern sides of Leicester as a by-pass for the city (see dotted green line in image)

The plans are part of the council’s Strategic Plan for the County, which maps out how the area will develop over the next couple of decades.

Although the route for the expressway is still being finalised, it’s believe the dual carriageway will start from the Hobby Horse roundabout in Syston and go around the city, joining the M1 between Junction 21 and 20.

The plan is supported by Leicester city council and the county councils in Leicestershire, but not from some residents.

Last week, around 250 people from across the county gathered in Billesdon to hear what local pressure groups think about the idea.

David Campbell-Kelly from the Willoughby Waterleys Residents Association claimed the whole plan was “ill thought-through” while another resident said “It’s going to devastate the countryside”.

But Leicestershire County Council said the authority needs to prepare for a significant increase in population by 2050

It’s anticipated an additional 118,000 new homes will be needed in the county along with roads to manage the additional traffic.

Transport bosses are also supporting the plans for the bypass, arguing it could boost the local economy by tens of millions of pounds a year.