IMPROVEMENTS are planned for Leicester’s busy Saffron Lane as part of a major Government-backed programme of investment in sustainable travel across the city.
Leicester City Council is planning to invest over £970,000 on improvements to Saffron Lane to help encourage more people to make the shift to walking and cycling.
The planned scheme will see a new permanent cycle track created on a busy stretch of Saffron Lane, between Heathcott Road and its new junction with Putney Road.
The new 3metre wide cycle lane will run in both directions, cutting across Aylestone Recreation Ground, where a new track will be created alongside the existing tree-lined footpath through the park.
Footpaths along the route will also be widened up to 2metres wherever possible and re-laid in high-quality block paving. Some modifications will be required to side roads where they join Saffron Lane to provide safer crossings for pedestrians and cyclists.
The first phase of the planned scheme – between Putney Road and Hawkins Road and the route through Aylestone Recreation Ground – will be funded through the Transforming Cities Fund following the city council’s successful bids for £40million to help fund improvements to local public transport and support more cycling and walking routes into city neighbourhoods and the city centre. The remaining sections are awaiting further Government funding to be confirmed through the Active Travel Fund.
Deputy Cllr Adam Clarke, who leads on environment and transportation, said: “These proposals represent an important expansion of the city’s growing network of safe and attractive routes for cyclists and pedestrians. The plans for Saffron Lane will help us to further extend the multi-million-pound investment we have made in and around the city centre out into the Leicester’s busy neighbourhoods.
“It is vital that we continue to provide healthier, greener streets to accommodate future growth of the city and its economy, all of which supports our commitments to address the climate emergency and to reduce air pollution. We need to be radical and ambitious to meet these challenges.
"The scheme will be complemented by the introduction of Santander Cycles ebike docking facilities, due to be introduced in the area early next year."
The proposals for Saffron Lane are due to be considered by members of the council’s Economic Development, Transport and Climate Emergency Scrutiny Commission on Wednesday 15 December.
Work is expected to begin early in the new year.
Letters will be sent to residents and businesses close to the proposed schemes before work begins.Plans will also be available to view online at www.leicester.gov.uk/TransformingCitiesFund
The Transforming Cities Fund is a major £80million citywide programme of investment in sustainable transport, backed by £40million of Government cash from the Department for Transport. The ambitious package of works will focus on major sustainable transport improvements to provide attractive choices for people to get to work, education, shops and other local facilities to help support the city’s growth and deliver on the council’s climate emergency, air quality and health living commitments.
The programme includes the development of new bus priority corridors linking the city centre to local neighbourhoods and suburbs along with the continued development of a network of high-quality cycling and walking routes throughout the city, building on the success of the Connecting Leicester programme.
It has also seen the introduction of electric buses onto the Park and Ride service and a new citywide electric bike hire scheme in partnership with Santander.