Miles of ‘pop-up’ cycle lanes as part of Leicester’s lockdown recovery plan

Leicester’s coronavirus recovery plan will see miles of new pop-up cycling and walking lanes being installed every week to support the city’s transport system.

The council is developing a series of measures to enable people to get around the city more safely and healthily, and to support local businesses and employees as lockdown restrictions are gradually eased under the Government’s recovery plans.

This will allow people to cycle and walk safely rather than relying on public transport. It will also support bus services, which will operate at a reduced capacity of 25 percent to ensure passengers can remain a safe distance apart.

Around 40 percent of urban journeys are under two miles, and by providing additional safe routes the city council wants to encourage as many people to walk and cycle rather than use a car.

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The initiative will also support a healthier lifestyle, reduce air pollution levels and contribute to the council’s climate emergency commitment.

City Mayor Peter Soulsby announced the initiative with the goal of creating a mile of cycling and walking routes every week for the next 10 weeks.

Pop-up cycle routes were introduced on Saffron Lane and Aylestone Road in the last month, taking advantage of the reduced traffic flow to create safe routes particularly for keyworkers travelling to Leicester Royal Infirmary.

The next phase of this work will see pop-up cycle lanes installed on some of the major arterial routes into the city, creating wider, safe cycling and walking corridors.

These will begin this week on a 1.2-mile stretch of London Road inbound between Shanklin Drive and Victoria Park Road, which will be marked out using cones and signs. Work will also start shortly on a 1.6-mile inbound stretch of Hinckley Road.

On Abbey Park Road, a new pedestrian zone and cycleway will be created linking Belgrave Circle to the park entrance, while the right-hand turn from Belvoir Street into Pocklington’s Walk will be closed to traffic to create safer conditions for cycling and walking.

Additional cycleway routes are being considered on other main roads, for example linking to Beaumont Leys in the north of the city.

Pavements will also be widened to help support local shops when they reopen and to provide safer walking areas, including initially on Queens Road and in a number of other locations, including Braunstone Gate and Belgrave Road.

In each case the work can be carried out within a day or two, with minimum impact on other road users, by marking out the new lanes with traffic cones and signs.

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