WORK is due to begin on a major £4million revamp of three busy city centre streets from early next month.
Leicester City Council will carry out major improvements to Pocklingtons Walk, Horsefair Street (including a small linking section of Millstone Lane) and nearby Market Place South as part of the Connecting Leicester programme.
On Pocklingtons Walk, footpaths will be improved and the carriageway realigned and resurfaced. A protected contraflow cycle track will provide a direct link from new cycle lanes created on Welford Road, Newarke Street and Belvoir Street to Horsefair Street.
Improvements will extend onto Horsefair Street where footpaths will be reconstructed with high-quality block paving and the carriageway resurfaced. A new cycle track will be created to further extend the network of safe and attractive routes in and around the city centre.
As part of the revamp, a new footpath has already been created into Town Hall Square, providing a direct link to the new Green Dragon Square and Leicester Market.
Nearby Market Place South will also be reconstructed and resurfaced, extending the improvements already completed in Market Place. Work to improve the pedestrian link at Dolphin Square will also be completed, with a high-quality resin-bonded gravel finish.
Work will be carried out in phases to minimise disruption, starting on Pocklingtons Walk from Monday 2 November. The stretch of road between Welford Place and Chancery Street will be closed to traffic during the works, with well-signed diversions in place. This will affect some bus services.
Work on Horsefair Street, between Bowling Green Street and Market Street, will begin in January. Details of road any closures and diversions will be publicised nearer the time.
This first phase of work is expected to last around four months.
The scheme is then programmed to move on to the second half of Pocklingtons Walk, Millstone Lane and Market Place South by spring 2021.
The improvements will be part financed with up to £1.85million from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), as part of Leicester City Council’s successful bid for over £6million of funding to support a range of ambitious transport related projects that aim to cut carbon emissions.
City Mayor Peter Soulsby said: “It is vital that we continue to invest in the regeneration of this high-profile part of the city centre and extend our work to provide safe and attractive routes for cyclists and pedestrians.
“This major scheme will transform the look and feel of this part of the city centre, providing much improved facilities for all road users and creating a direct link between Leicester’s fantastic market and the historic Town Hall Square.
“It will also make a huge contribution to our work to encourage more people to use sustainable forms of transport. The award of almost £2million of ERDF support is a tremendous endorsement of the carbon reductions that this scheme will help achieve.”
Continued investment in council-led programmes to encourage more use of cleaner, greener sustainable transport is just one of the actions included in the first Leicester Climate Emergency Strategy. Launched this month, the new strategy sets out an ambitious vision for how the city needs to change to move towards becoming carbon-neutral and adapting to the effects of global heating by 2030, or sooner.
An accompanying action plan – which will be updated on a yearly basis – sets out an initial programme of over 120 actions that will support the strategy and help achieve the ambitious carbon savings required.