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Experimental scheme will close rat-run as part of £1m highway improvements

Published on Friday, November 12, 2021

Traffic cones

A RESIDENTIAL street used by rat-running motorists is to be partly closed to traffic in an experimental scheme to improve road safety.

Leicester City Council will introduce the experimental closure of Buckminster Road, in the Fosse area of the city, from Sunday 14 November for six-months.

The road will be closed between its junctions with Brading Road and Courtenay Road to prevent through-traffic. Initially, temporary barriers will be installed but these will be replaced by more attractive removable planters in the coming weeks. Residents will still be able to access the road in their vehicles using alternative routes.

By cutting the amount of traffic using the road, it is hoped that the measures will create a quieter environment for people who live on the street while improving safety for cyclists and pedestrians.

The experimental closure will allow the city council to test and monitor a new road layout and people will be invited to comment during the first six months of the closure. All feedback will be carefully considered before any decision is taken on whether the measures should be introduced on a permanent basis.

This is the latest phase of a wider £1million scheme to put bus and cycle lanes along Anstey Lane and encourage more people to make the shift to sustainable forms of transport. The work is being paid for through the Transforming Cities Fund.

Current work on Anstey Lane is due to be complete by mid-November. This will see the completion of wider, safer footpaths and cycleways between the busy road’s junction with Buckminster Road and existing cycleway provision close to Krefeld Way.

Work to introduce a new bus lane on the citybound section of Anstey Lane between Larchmont Road and Buckminster Road is due to take place early in the 2022.

Deputy city mayor Cllr Adam Clarke, who leads on environment and transport, said: “We are trialling the closure on Buckminster Road to address longstanding problems with motorists using this residential road as a rat-run. We want to create a safer, less polluted and more pleasant place for people to live in.

“We need 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 to meet these challenges. I can assure people that we will listen very carefully indeed to everyone during the experiment before deciding whether or not to make it permanent.”

The Anstey Lane scheme will be paid for through the Transforming Cities Fund, 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 Transforming Cities Fund programme in Leicester will include 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.