Work is nearing completion on the latest phase of a project to widen parts of the Great Central Way footpath to provide more space for users of the popular route in and out of the city.
The scheme is widening the existing path from approximately 2.5m to between 3m and 3.5m where conditions permit, to enable cyclists and pedestrians using the route to continue to do so safely while still social distancing.
The route is a well-used link between the city centre, De Montfort University, Aylestone Meadows and residential areas of Rowley Fields and Braunstone.
Latest work has been carried out in two phases on a section between Marlow Road in Rowley Fields, and Upperton Road.
The next stage of work is expected to start in the coming weeks, completing the improvements from Upperton Road to Bede Park. It is expected to be completed in February 2021.
Work has been underway along sections of the route since autumn 2020, and has also seen some vegetation removal, tree clearance and work to tackle four areas of Japanese Knotweed along the route.
In total the scheme is costing about £275,000 and is funded from the Government’s Transforming Cities Fund.
Leicester deputy city mayor responsible for environment and transportation, Cllr Adam Clarke, said: “The work that has been carried out so far as really improved the route and helped make it more attractive and user-friendly for cyclists and pedestrians.
“It’s always been we well-used route, and connects to other pathways through the city centre and beyond into the county.
“With coronavirus restrictions meaning more people are turning to cycling or walking, it is vital that we ensure routes like this are safe and accessible, and also wide enough to enable people to socially distance.”
Work to create high-quality cycling and walking connections across the city ties in with the commitments set out last summer in Leicester’s Covid-19 Transport Recovery Plan.
It set out the ways in which the city’s transport system could the challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic and help the city’s economy to recover, as well as securing longer-term environmental benefits.
Key points included creating schemes to tackle transport emissions, supporting climate emergency work and providing fair access across the city, including the creation of a network of pop-up cycle routes across the city during the summer.
A map showing all the city’s key cycling routes is available here.