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New bus gate and 20mph zones for city centre

Published on Monday, October 10, 2016

A NEW ‘bus gate’ and 20mph zone are planned for a city centre street to tackle congestion caused by the number of unauthorised vehicles using it.

Under new proposals, a ‘bus gate’ allowing access only to buses, cycles and Hackney cabs would be introduced on Horsefair Street between Market Place Approach and its junction with Granby Street.

Hundreds of unauthorised vehicles currently use that stretch of Horsefair Street, every day, even though it has been designated since 1990 for use only by buses, Hackney cabs, blue badge holders and for loading access.

The amount of unauthorised traffic causes traffic congestion and creates a pinch point on a key bus route.

Leicester City Council has issued the public notice needed by law to alter the Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) needed for the bus gate and 20mph, to give people the opportunity to object to it.

City Mayor Peter Soulsby said that subject to the bus gate being given the go-ahead, he would use traffic cameras to enforce the enforcement of the bus gate.

He said: “As we’ve seen already from the bus gates at Charles Street and Causeway Lane, they are very effective at cutting the number of unauthorised vehicles entering them. 

“This section of Horsefair Street has been out of bounds for normal through traffic for years, but there are very many motorists who continue to ignore that.

“Unfortunately that creates a pinch point, traffic jams and delays to the bus services which use that route.

“In the case of Charles Street, where the bus gate is enforced by camera, the number of vehicles entering has been cut from over 6,000 in 2012, to just 436 by April 2016.

“I am minded to bring in enforcement cameras at this proposed new bus gate as soon as possible.” 

The proposals follow a traffic survey taken in July 2015, which showed that on a single weekday more than 1,700 vehicles exited Horsefair Street onto Granby Street, of which almost 700 were not buses, cycles or Hackney carriages.

Under the new proposals, Horsefair Street would remain out of bounds to ordinary traffic between 7.30am and 6pm, with vehicles using it outside of those hours exiting via Market Place Approach to avoid going through the bus gate.

Removing unauthorised vehicles from the section of Horsefair Street would cut the traffic by about 38 percent.

As part of the same scheme, a series of 20mph zones will be introduced in some city centre streets, including the same section of Horsefair Street itself.

Other streets include Granby Street between Bishop Street and Halford Street; Halford Street between Granby Street and Charles Street; the entire length of Free Lane and Lower Free Lane, and the entire length of both Market Place Approach and Market Place South.

The new bus gate and 20mph zones could come into operation by January 2017, subject to the outcome of the necessary consultations needed to bring in the new traffic regulation order for the works.

Any objections to the proposals should be sent in writing to Leicester City Council, stating the reasons, by October 28, to:

Steve Warwick, 2nd Floor, Rutland Wing, City Hall, 115 Charles Street, Leicester. LE1 1FZ.

Queries regarding the scheme can also be made to Steve Warwick on 0116 454 2835.