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Road safety scheme will tackle speeding on section of Welford Road

Published on Friday, July 28, 2017

A SCHEME to improve road safety on one of Leicester’s busiest routes is due to take place over the school holidays.

A section of Welford Road, between Chapel Lane and Brinsmead Road, is being targeted in a long-standing commitment to improve safety and tackle speeding motorists using the route.

Figures show that on average over 1,800 vehicles per hour use this stretch of Welford Road at peak times. Police mobile CCTV cameras which have been at the site 14 times in the last year showed 62 percent of drivers were travelling over the 30mph speed limit. 

Under the new scheme, the central section of the five metre-wide outbound lane will be made into a hatched area with designated right hand turning areas, in order make it the same width as the three metre-wide inbound lane.

The heavy traffic makes the road difficult to cross, and traffic surveys have shown that the extra width of the outbound carriageway encourages some drivers to exceed the speed limit.

Numerous concerns have also been raised with local ward councillors, including about road accidents at the Chapel Lane/Welford Road junction. 

Under the traffic safety scheme, new traffic islands and a pedestrian crossing refuge will also be installed, while a shared space pedestrian and cycle route will be added to the outbound-side pavement.

The works will mean the outbound carriageway on that section of Welford Road will be closed to traffic from August 13 to 28.

Major resurfacing works will also be carried out on Welford Road during the closure, which is being done in the school holidays when there is usually less traffic. 

Letters are being distributed to homes and businesses in the area, and well-signposted traffic diversions will be put in place. Local access will be retained for residents, with a separate diversion for traffic heading towards the city boundary. 

The whole scheme is expected to cost about £150,000, which will be funded from Leicester City Council’s Highways and Transportation budget. 

Leicester assistant city mayor for neighbourhood services, Cllr Kirk Master, said: “This section of Welford Road is particularly busy with traffic often exceeding the speed limit between the major junctions at Chapel Lane and the outer ring road junction. 

“This makes the road dangerous to cross, especially when you consider we have plenty of families, older people and very young people visiting the care homes and nurseries in the area. 

“We’ve had a long-standing commitment to improve road safety and reduce traffic speeds along this section of Welford Road, backed by a number of local campaigners, and with the full support of Leicestershire Police.

“In addition to the works on the road itself, we are also making a shared cycle and pedestrian route on the pavement, and carrying out some much-needed surface repairs. 

“It is quite major work, which means we have to close the outbound lane of Welford Road while we are working there, but we’re working hard to ensure local access for residents, and clearly-signposted diversion routes for motorists going further afield.

“But the end result will make this section of road a lot safer for all road users.”