NEW measures have been put in place to reinforce space for cyclists on a busy Leicester route.
Vertical ‘wands’ - which stop vehicles from straying into or parking over cycle lanes – have been installed for about half a mile in both directions along a section of Aylestone Road, creating a segregated cycle track between Grace Road and Granby Primary School.
It’s the latest pop-up scheme to be installed as part of Leicester’s covid-19 Transport Recovery Plan, which was published last month. The plan sets out goals for helping the city’s economy to recover following the lockdown, while also meeting the city’s environmental objectives to improve air quality and encourage people to make more sustainable travel choices.
As part of the plan, the city council has committed to installing a mile a week for 10 weeks of new, better protected, cycling or walking routes.
At four weeks in, schemes already carried out include pop-up cycle tracks in London Road (1.2miles), Hinckley Road (1.6miles) and Abbey Park Road (0.25miles), as well as pavement-widening measures in Belgrave and Queens Road (0.5miles in total), to allow for social distancing.
A pop-up ‘mini Holland’ scheme has also been introduced in Braunstone Gate, limiting through traffic and creating a cycling and walking link with the nearby De Montfort University campus.
This is in addition to the ‘keyworker corridor’ cycle tracks opposite Leicester Royal Infirmary and in Saffron Lane, which provide a further kilometre (0.6miles) of protected cycle tracks, and were installed prior to the publication of the transport recovery plan.
Deputy city mayor Cllr Adam Clarke, who leads on environment and transportation, said: “I’m really proud of the work we have done in Leicester to help ensure that we prioritise walking and cycling following the coronavirus crisis. Our quick actions and innovative pop-up schemes have received national attention and praise. Many people have discovered the benefits of active travel in recent weeks, and we want to do all we can to capitalise on this.
“This is the latest part of our commitment to provide a mile a week of pop-up cycling or walking routes and it’s a great example of a busy commuter route where we can make a real difference by making space for cyclists.
“We know that a painted-on cycle lane does not make cyclists feel safe. Now cyclists using this section of road have a dedicated, segregated track to help protect them from other traffic.”
This section of Aylestone Road has previously been the scene of accidents involving pedestrians and cyclists, including one last year where a woman was seriously injured after being knocked off her bike.
All of the pop-up infrastructure being put in place will be reviewed and monitored as part of the recovery plan, so that further improvements or alterations can be made if required.
Earlier this month the Government announced a £363,000 pot of funding for Leicester to carry out such schemes, and the city council is awaiting a decision on further funding.
Full details of the Transport Recovery Plan are available by clicking on ‘key strategy documents’ here: www.leicester.gov.uk/citymayor
Frequently asked questions about all pop-up schemes and transport recovery projects across the city are available here: https://www.leicester.gov.uk/your-council/coronavirus/cycling-and-walking-pop-ups/