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Consultation launched on measures to stop Westcotes rat-running

Published on Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Traffic management cones on a lorry

PEOPLE are being asked for their views on a range of options being proposed to tackle rat-running through a residential community in the city.

A public consultation was launched this week, setting out a range of ideas to cut the accident risk caused by motorists using Westcotes Drive and Braunstone Avenue as a short-cut between Hinckley Road and Fullhurst Avenue.

Residents have raised concerns about dangerous driving, damage to vehicles and several near-misses by cars using the route to avoid the traffic lights further along at Wyngate Drive.

An experimental scheme was put in place in January 2021 to prevent motorists turning left from Hinckley Road into Westcotes Drive. Temporary barriers were put in place at the junction to stop incoming traffic, other than cyclists, entering Westcotes Drive.

However, that caused an increase in traffic on neighbouring Dulverton Road, Dunster Street and Taunton Road.

Now a series of options is being put forward in the six-week consultation, either to remove the restrictions altogether, or bring in alternative measures elsewhere on the route.

Options include fully closing Westcotes Drive just south of its junction with Dunster Street and Taunton Road, or alternatively putting in place measures to stop all southbound traffic past that point, with the exception of cycles.

A similar option could be put in place at the junction of Westcotes Drive and Braunstone Avenue, again either closing off the road to all traffic, or restricting all southbound traffic to just cycles. Northbound traffic would be unaffected.

Any such changes would be made using temporary barriers under an experimental traffic order, which could be amended or removed if needed during a trial period of up to 18 months.

There is also the option to remove the existing temporary restrictions at the Hinckley Road/Westcotes Drive junction.

Leicester deputy city mayor for children and schools, Cllr Sarah Russell, is also one of the local ward councillors for the area.

She said: “The problems caused by traffic speeding on this route as a shortcut have been raised frequently by residents, and while the restriction introduced back in January has stopped traffic turning onto Westcotes Drive from Hinckley Road, it has displaced some of the traffic onto neighbouring streets instead. 

“The consultation sets out a number of different ideas to limit the traffic flow on that stretch of road and encourage people to use the main junction a little further along at Wyngate Drive instead.”

The junction of Hinckley Road and Westcotes Drive is directly opposite the site of the Hinckley Road explosion, and the restrictions have meant a small quiet memorial area has been developed there, in tribute to those who died in the 2017 blast.

In addition to the rat-running measures, there are also proposals to include the area in a 20mph scheme, which will be consulted upon separately later this year.

The current consultation is online here.

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