ALTERATIONS are being made to traffic flow on a city centre street from this weekend as part of a wider scheme to improve facilities for cyclists and pedestrians and help shoppers to observe safe social distancing.
A pop-up cycling and walking scheme was brought in on Granby Street earlier this month, after calls from businesses to make the area more pedestrian-friendly. The work is designed to support businesses by ensuring visitors can queue or pass each other safety on wider pavements outside cafes, shops and other small premises.
As part of that scheme, the one-way direction of traffic flow on Dover Street will be reversed from Sunday, June 28, which will ease traffic flow on Granby Street by taking out vehicle access to Dover Street car park.
Instead, the main entry and exit from Dover Street car park will from Waterloo Way and Calais Hill.
The changes on Granby Street have seen the existing permanent cycle lane, linking the city centre to Leicester Station, being demarcated using traffic cones before being strengthened with the use of vertical wands to prevent vehicles from parking on it.
Pavements have been widened by removing parking spaces along the length of Granby Street, with some disabled parking provided at adjoining Dover Street and Chatham Street, and several loading bays provided along Granby Street.
Some additional on-street pay and display parking is also being considered for nearby York Street.
City Mayor Peter Soulsby said: “The work on Granby Street was prompted by some businesses calling for measures to make it more pedestrian-friendly, and the current restrictions in place mean we need these safety measures more than ever.
“Removing the access to Dover Street car park from Granby Street means we can take out a lot of through traffic, which instead can access it more easily from Calais Hill and the inner ring road at Waterloo Way.
“By removing unnecessary through traffic we can greatly help the street and the businesses in it.”
The work is the latest in a series of schemes being carried out across the city in response to the restrictions imposed by the coronavirus lockdown, and the limitations which will remain in place for the foreseeable future in terms of reduced public transport, an increase in cycling and walking, and providing safe, open city centre spaces for people to use in line with Government regulations on social distancing.
Leicester’s Covid-19 Transport Recovery Plan, which was published earlier this month, sets out the goals for helping the city’s economy recover following the lockdown, while also meeting the city’s environmental goals of improving air quality and encouraging more sustainable travel choices.
Schemes already carried out as part of the Transport Recovery Plan include pop-up ‘keyworker corridor’ cycle tracks at Aylestone Road, Saffron Lane, Hinckley Road and Abbey Park Road, as well as pavement widening measures at Queens Road and Belgrave Road, and a pop-up ‘Mini Holland’ scheme to limit through-traffic on Braunstone Gate and create a cycle and walking link connecting to the Great Central Way, De Montfort University campus and city centre.
Earlier this month the Government announced a £363,000 pot of funding for Leicester to carry out such schemes, but it has actually awarded the city council £405,000 in recognition of its strong bid and quick work in delivering pop-up transport projects.
Leicester deputy city mayor for environment and transportation, Cllr Adam Clarke, added:“The restrictions imposed upon us by the Covid-19 pandemic have given us a chance to use more sustainable options such as walking and cycling, and schemes such as this build on that to make streets more pedestrian and cycle friendly as the restrictions are eased and life begins to return to normal.”
People can also now nominate streets that would benefit from more space for safe travelling and shopping, using the Widen My Path website.
The website allows anyone to put forward a location where more space or improvements for walking or cycling are needed, as well as showing support for an existing suggestion by voting for it.
The ideas submitted will help the city council prioritise where further improvements are needed. To make a nomination, or to view ideas already under consideration, visit www.widenmypath.com/leicester
Further information on pop-up schemes across the city is available here: https://www.leicester.gov.uk/your-council/coronavirus/cycling-and-walking-pop-ups/
The Leicester Transport Recovery Plan can be viewed here: https://www.leicester.gov.uk/media/186689/covid-19-transport-recovery-plan-may-2020.pdf
People can also gain reward points for walking and cycling using the BetterPoints smartphone app, with extra weekly prizes to celebrate the new pop-up cycle lanes and widened footways. Download the app