IMPROVEMENTS to a popular walking and cycling route will be carried out next month.
Work is due to begin in March to widen a section of the footpath between Everards Meadows and the Great Central Way, providing more space for walkers and cyclists. The section of path includes a humpback bridge over the canal, known as Blue Bank Bridge.
The work will enable cyclists and pedestrians using the route to continue to do so safely while still social distancing, as well as providing an improved surface.
The route is a well-used link between the Everards Meadows development, the Great Central Way, Leicester city centre and residential areas of Glen Parva.
Work will get under way in early March and will be carried out over four weeks by Leicester City Council. Some temporary footpath closures will be needed while the work is carried out.
The scheme will cost £55,000 and is funded from the Government’s Local Growth Fund, via the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership Ltd. (LLEP).
The area is in Glen Parva, just outside the city boundary, but the city council is the landowner, and is also leading on cycle improvement works across both Leicester and Leicestershire when they are funded by the Local Growth Fund.
Deputy city mayor for environment and transportation Cllr Adam Clarke said: “Many people have been visiting the Great Central Way and Everards Meadows to get their daily exercise during lockdown, and we want to do all we can to support people so that they can enjoy exploring this route on foot or by bike.
“Cycling and walking not only benefit your own health and wellbeing but also contribute positively to the city’s air quality and help us to tackle the climate emergency - that’s why we have ambitious plans to improve and increase the city’s cycling and pedestrian network.
“It’s important that we have the right infrastructure in place to encourage these activities.”
Kevin Harris is Chair of the LLEP Board of Directors. He said “These improvements to the Great Central Way are part of a wider project to manage flood risk around the River Soar and improve quality of life for residents and businesses, which has been funded with £7.5 million from the LLEP’s Local Growth Fund.
“It’s wonderful to see this investment being made, which will have a tangible benefit for residents. In the current climate, with everyone forced to take their exercise and leisure close to home, it is important that we have great facilities for local people. This investment will make much-needed improvements to a safe, popular route for pedestrians and cyclists to use for years to come.”
These works are the latest in a series of improvements along the Great Central Way, with a recent Transforming Cities funded project seeing the route widened and resurfaced between Rowley Fields and Upperton Road, again providing more social distancing space for cyclists and walkers.
And an access ramp onto the Great Central Way from Marsden Lane in Aylestone is due to be completed in the spring. It has been funded by the Local Growth Fund, and will open up the popular route to more cyclists, pedestrians with pushchairs and wheelchair-users, linking up with the nearby towpath.
A map showing all the city’s key cycling routes can be found at: https://www.choosehowyoumove.co.uk/pop-up/